There’s a lot to envy about childhood. Kids don’t have to work or pay rent, they have whole summers to do whatever they like, and they have such vivid imaginations. Many experienced writers could learn something from the detailed worlds and stories that children create.Yet even if your child shows promise when it comes to creative writing, it can be difficult to encourage them to focus on their stories rather than the more alluring world of television and video games. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to inspire kids to write, try the following tips.
1. Get into nature
One of the most popular subjects of poetry is nature and for good reason. There’s something about a windswept beach or a deserted forest that inspires writers, so why not let your kids experience nature and see if they can find the same inspiration? You don’t have to travel far; if you live anywhere near a mountain, a beach, a lake, or a river, take your child there and encourage them to talk about what they’re seeing. You might want to take a look at these fun outdoor writing activities to inspire you.
2. Read to them, or let them read to you
One of the best ways to improve one’s writing skills is to read widely, and it’ll help a child’s vocabulary for future stories as well. If your child is not an avid reader, try reading to them yourself. You might like to pick some of your own favourite childhood books and start by reading them a chapter or so each night. With any luck, they’ll begin looking forward to these nightly sessions and search for books themselves. If you can convince your child to read to you, even better – they’ll be improving their reading skills as well.
3. Help them to have novel experiences
Inspiration often comes from new experiences. At the weekends, you might like to take your child to places they haven’t been before or encourage them to participate in new activities.If you have the means for it, travelling can also be a great way for a child to have novel experiences. Something about seeing a new place and discovering a new culture can inspire creativity, so if you manage to take them on a trip, encourage them to keep a travel diary and see if they can make a story out of it upon their return.
4. Make creativity fun
Kids respond well to games (especially writing games) so you might like to find inspiration through play. The Imagine Forest fill-in-the-blank stories, in which children are told to choose particular types of words that are then inserted into a premade story template, will result in a tale of its own. The end story might sound a bit silly, but it’s sure to get kids thinking, and perhaps they’ll even modify it with their own ideas!
5. Get them talking
When you’re out with your child, point out unusual or uncommon occurrences and have them explain what might be happening. For example, you might see a man walking four dogs – why does he have so many pets? Where might he be going? Having your child talk through scenarios like this and use their imagination to make sense of what’s happening will help them to create a habit of creating backstories for events they experience, and will hopefully inspire their writing.
Things that inspire creative writing needn’t be difficult to find. Whether your child will be the next J.K Rowling or not remains to be seen, but even writing regularly for fun will help them both immediately and in later years.Writing is a skill valued by teachers and employers at all stages of life, so encourage your child every step of the way!