Guest post by Alison Clarke from Juni Learning
Kids are some of the most creative people on the planet. You take their unbound optimism and imagination with an endless amount of energy, and kids can write up some really quirky ideas. However, it doesn’t hurt to give kids a bit of a head start with some creative writing prompts to get their mind palace brimming with great ideas. Today, let’s talk about some of those ideas, as well some other ways to get your kids to be better writers
Before we get to the writing prompts, there are some basic pointers you should give your child to direct their writing. Don’t be too strict though, at this age especially. It’s better to let them run wild, then fix stuff up afterward.
Don’t criticize a child’s writing or just go “oh, that’s cute!”. Engage with the child and their work, because kids love answering questions. Well, maybe some don’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask anyway. One of the best ways to boost creativity is through simple but effective questions like “why is this character like this” or “why did that happen to that” because it enables kids to think critically about the narratives they put on the page. Plus, it’s just fun.
Let Them Read It Aloud
It’s a great idea to have kids recite their stories to you out loud. Not only does it train their communication skills, but it’s also a brilliant way to bring their characters to life. Having your child act out dialogue gives them a better feel for how their story is going and whether or not they are happy with the characters as they are. Not to mention, it’s an interactive way to engage with your child’s story.
Lead and Guide As Necessary
As many online courses on storytelling will tell you, it’s important to keep the writer’s vision as close to their personal flair as possible. Let them lead the story, and guide them through any speedbumps. However, never railroad them into telling a story that you want to see. More than anything, a child needs to appreciate the happiness in completing a work of their own that they can proudly claim as theirs.
There are a ton of creative writing prompts, and the limit goes well past the sky and into outer space. However, if you’re having a bit of trouble settling on a writing idea, here are some of our own suggestions to get you started:
And so many, many more. These are only to get you started, but here are some more tips if you want to make your own original prompts.
Pull From Your Experiences
Prompts from your personal experience are an effective way to get prompts onto paper. After all, if it’s something that you’ve already gone through, it’s just a matter of recontextualizing it to fit a new cast of characters in a different setting. That’s how so many stories, as fantastical as they may get, always feature heroes that the reader can relate with.
Write Prompts Regularly
Whenever your child has a prompt idea, quickly write it down for the future. Prompts aren’t just one and done, they could really start forming a story once seen together. Prompts that might not work on their own could be greatly improved when combined with another. Not to mention, keeping track of your prompts lets you avoid repeating any and feeling burnout.
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