How to Encourage Your Child to Write Their Own Stories
Have you ever thought of encouraging your child to publish their own storybooks? Does the idea of creating something that is their own excite them? Imagine reading a book that your child wrote at bedtime or even having a whole bookcase of your child’s books to read at any time!
Maybe you are wondering, why is it important for my child to write their own stories in the first place? In this day and age wherein technology have influenced every aspect of our lives, is there still a special space for children to sit at a desk or in their garden writing their own stories? With nothing more than a notepad and a pencil? The answer is yes. No amount of videos or apps can hone the creativity and imagination of your child more than a good storybook.
Of course, for your child, the idea of writing their own stories will be quite daunting at first. That’s where creative writing tools, like Imagine Forest, can come in handy. In particular, Imagine Forest can provide your child with all the inspiration they need, such as a character creator to develop characters for their tale or even an idea’s bank filled with over 1,000 story ideas to choose from. By making the process of writing their own stories as easy and as simple as possible, not only are you making writing more fun for them, but you might even encourage them to become the next J.K Rowling or Beatrix Potter.
Here are some tips on how your child can create and write their own stories.
Tips for Kids to Write Their Own Stories
Observe, brainstorm, and jot down ideas.
Every story starts with an idea. Oftentimes, ideas spring up in random conversations with friends or family members. A good technique is taking a look at old photos or pictures that you find interesting in magazines (Take a look at our post on how to use image prompts for more tips). You can also think about the things that make you happy, scared, or sad? Jot down all these ideas and use it to formulate your story-line. Imagine Forest also offers a ton of free writing prompts for non-members.
Pick characters that are fun!
Character choices are highly important in stories. Your story-line can be really simple, but it is the characters that make it more exciting. Think about the heroes in your favourite stories or movies and note down their personality. What do you like about them? Now think about the villains in these stories and movies. What makes them evil or unlikable? With this in mind, your child can think about creating their own hero and villain for their story. And remember a villain doesn’t always need to be a person or animal, it could simply be an obstacle blocking your hero from winning. For example, your hero wants to win a singing competition, but he/she are too shy to get up and sing in front of the whole school.
Create the art that will go with your story.
Children are visual learners and process things best through images. It sometimes even helps for some kids to create a storyboard before writing out their story because this helps them visualise their story’s plot in the correct order. And even if your child doesn’t need a storyboard to start off, it is always nice to encourage them to draw out the things they see in their imagination (especially if they can’t find the words to describe them). Either way drawing can be just as important as writing when it comes to developing your child’s creativity.
Use words that they can relate to.
Secretly as grown-ups we know the benefits of writing for pleasure on a child’s vocabulary. But when it comes to encouraging your child to write their own stories, it’s best not to force them to include long words or to criticise them if they misspelled a word. Instead make it a game, you could tell your child to think of 5 other words to use instead of “nice” or to pick a random word from a dictionary and use it in their story. Once your child has written their story, you can check it though and fix the spelling/grammar mistakes for them. You can keep two versions of the story, one your child has written and the other one which you have edited for them. This way you child can see the differences and understand them.
Print your book.
The best part for your child would be getting their book printed! Technology has now made it possible to have books printed without having to go to the printers personally. Online printing companies such as Mixam have made it possible to have your book files printed remotely through their websites. All you have to do is to go to their website, pick your printing preferences, upload your files, and wait for the books to be delivered.
Publish your work.
Now that your child has written their first story it’s time to share it with the world. For your child, they can use a website like Imagine Forest to publish their stories with a whole community of other young writers. By sharing their stories on Imagine Forest, not only will they get feedback on their stories, but they will get positive reinforcement through points and badges which will encourage to write more and more stories overtime. They can also read the stories of other young writers aged similar to them and see how they can improve their future stories.
Stories play a major role in the cognitive development of our little ones. And encouraging your child to write their own stories can sometimes be a tricky task, especially if your child hates writing. But with a lot of encouragement, some helpful tips and inspiration, your child could be a brilliant storyteller in no time!