Children are very creative beings, no lie. Regardless of their age, kids always have a story to tell through their dreams, what they watch on tv, and of course, what they read.
So instead of trying to shoo them away whenever they want to tell you a story or show you the little world they made out of their stuffed toys and building blocks, why not get them to write it all down?
Sure, this may seem like a lot of work, but honestly, it’s a great way to help your child express their ideas and thoughts and dreams, no matter how silly they may seem. In addition, it’s a way to show them just how powerful their views can be through writing.
So here are ten tips for you to help get them into the writing zone:
- First, make sure they love reading:
How else can you draw your kid’s attention to writing if they don’t read? Your child’s reading taste will have a significant influence on what they will write.
- Ask them to write about their day/an exciting event
You can quickly call this journaling from a young age. But if it can get them to write, why not? Especially as it’s on something that concerns them. You will not only hone their writing skills, but you will also be creating a special bond between yourselves.
- Seek their thoughts on books and real-life situations
For every book you read with your kid, never hesitate to ask about their views on it. It doesn’t matter if they’re as little as three years old. You’d be surprised how wise they can be when you give them a chance.
- Use the ‘what if?’ factor to create an idea in their heads
If the former tip didn’t work, or you noticed that your child isn’t very open-minded, you can use the ‘what if’ factor to get them started. Questions as simple as ‘what if you wake up one and you can’t find mummy and daddy? What if you get bitten by a dog, and you start barking like one? Crazy, yes, but if they can get your child’s attention, go for it.
- Always ask them how the story is going.
Once they start writing, you might want to keep track of their progress. Don’t be so hard on your kid if they’re slow or are even yet to write. Instead, be patient with them and be there to guide them every step of the way.
- Let them include illustrations.
Drawing/illustrations are one of the fun parts of children’s books. So get your child in on the fun by allowing them to include some drawings of the character, setting or anything in the story. As usual, don’t aim for perfection. Just make sure your kid is having fun and loving the process.
- Give them a deadline.
With a deadline, your child will know how important the writing task is.
- Prepare a reward for them.
With each progress your kid makes, show appreciation with a bit of gift–perhaps a copy of their favourite book or a trip to somewhere fun.
- Let them act out the story.
Your child needs to believe that the story is more than just words on paper. So organising a play out of it will surely get them pumped and boost their confidence and interest in storytelling.
- If you can, print it out for them.
This can also be regarded as a reward. Once your child is done with the story, you can get it printed and share it with friends or a children’s book club. Even more, you can show it to your child’s Drama teacher at school. Who knows, the story could be turned into a school play, or even someone might want to pay for a copy. Who knows? You can even get it published into a book!
These tips might seem a bit overwhelming. But if you’re passionate about your child writing stories, or you have noticed their interests, you should give it a try. Who knows, you may end up grooming a young author. Good luck and have fun!