One of the best ways to share your love of the written word is to get your kids involved in writing a story with you. Children are required to write stories while in school. With your enthusiasm, you can talk them into writing a story with you in their “free” time as well.
What are the Benefits?
The process of creating, then telling the story helps children organize their thoughts, and shows them the ways the written word can be used for communicating with people. Did you know that kids who write stories read better, and have a greater comprehension of the stories they read?
How to Get Started
Writing a story may feel like a challenge for kids. You can help by explaining the basics of story structure. For example, every story has a beginning, middle and end. They will also enjoy choosing characters and funny names to go with them.
You might try using written/visual prompts or journaling to help your kid come up with a great idea. You’ll likely discover that writing a story with your child is a wonderful experience for both of you.
Grab you 16 Writing Activities for Kids Printable to Get you Started!
You’ll get a peek inside the inner workings of your child's mind. When your imagination blends with that of your child, the options become endless.
The best place to begin is by reading cherished stories together. If you need book ideas, check out our list of books to boost girl power.
Discuss the stories and the author together, and read the jacket on the book. Explain to your kid that the author came up with an idea, then made the decision for everything that happened in the story.
While you are reading, ask your child what they think will happen next, and their reasons for their beliefs. This will help your child understand how stories are written, and what they mean to the people who read them. This will give your kid ideas, and help them to let their imagination run wild.
Once you have finished reading, talk about all the aspects of the book with your kid. Find out the reasons your child did not like certain characters, and ask how your child would have changed the people in the story. You might also want to discuss the setting, and how it affected the story.
Your child should understand any problems that took place in the story, and the way the author resolved the conflicts. Finally, look at the flow of the story, and how each event led to the next.
Explain Writing Basics
After you have read a few books with your child, talk about what kind of a story your child would like to write. This can be written about a special day at school, a birthday party, a lonely dragon or an enchanted forest.
Talk about the types of characters your child wants to write about, their lives, and what they will accomplish in the story. Try to get your child to write about something they are familiar with, or fascinated by.
Explain the importance of the main character, and suggest a character that will draw your kid's interest such as a princess, a pirate, a dog or a even a butterfly. When your child chooses a character they like, it will be easier to bring the character to life.
Next, discuss where the story will take place. Explain the importance of the characters matching the setting. A princess would probably not be living in an apartment complex, and a pirate would most likely not live in a tree house.
But encourage them to use their imagination. If there is a mismatch, ask the child why they’d want an unlikely setting for their character.
Offer suggestions for additional characters, such as a first mate or a parrot for a pirate, and a prince or a kitten for a princess.
Use the stories you have read to explain the importance of putting all the characters together with a common goal, destination or event.
Fiction or Nonfiction?
Your child may want to write about an actual event such as a favorite family vacation, the day the family brought home a new puppy, or the birthday party for a favorite aunt or uncle. You can explain that they’ve chose to write a nonfiction story because it’s based on real life.
If they'd like to make something up, that's not based on real events, that would be a fictional story.
Encourage them to remember the small details of the event, the excitement of the day, the frosting on the birthday cake or how the family decided to name the puppy. If you can, show your kid pictures taken on the day in question, and point out the time of year, the clothes people were wearing, and the expressions on their faces. Make the day come alive for your child.
Create a Storyboard
Creating a storyboard is an excellent tool to explain to your child the progression of the story. Ask your child to draw pictures relating to their story, and place them in order on the board. Explain that it’s like a comic book or graphic novel in how it will look.
You can arrange, and rearrange the pictures until the story begins to make sense. You can also do this with pictures cut from magazines, and include captions under the pictures. Each picture should represent a different part of the story.
Writing the Story
Once the storyboard is finished, it is time to begin writing. Start with the first drawing or picture, and have your child write about how the story starts and how the reader will meet the first character.
Help you little one fill in anything that seems to be missing, and add the elements that will connect the beginning with the rest of the story. Explain about time passing, and the importance of what the characters are doing.
When there is a problem, talk to your child about what they think will make the best solution and why. Once you have finished, reread the story so your child can make any changes that are necessary. Have your kid draw pictures to illustrate the story, and add a title.
What you will have is an irreplaceable story filled with your child's imagination, thoughts and feelings. You can read the story together over and over.
Once you've written with your kiddos, you might wanna write something for yourself. Check out our writing course and make money with your words in 2018.
Have you written a story with your kiddos? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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