Creative Writing For Children

Children are imaginative by nature. Childhood is the only phase of life that is never prejudiced by the complicated dynamics of life. This is the phase of life where imagination is in its purest form. Hence, the habit of creative writing is acquired better at childhood rather than in latter phases of life. With some guidance from the parent, a child would often blossom into a better creative writer compared to many adults.

Why would you want to teach your kid creative writing?

It is not simply because a child has a pure imagination without stain marks or because a child is capable of imagining. You would want to teach the child creative writing to get into the process of logical thinking and to assist the child in attaining the capability to freely express his/her thoughts. It has been observed that children who successfully learn the art of creative writing early on tend to do well in many professions that involve expression and imagination. Also, such children tend to have better academic record compared to other, including academic subjects that need the student to have good expressing capabilities. This need not be necessarily subjects related to language such as English, but they can even be the physical and biological sciences. In a nutshell, it is not only the capability to write creatively that helps, but additionally it is the thinking capability powering the creative writing that also helps.

Teaching a child how to do creative writing involves a lot of fun and enjoyment. And once the kid starts to show signs of having learned the art, it gives the parent a great mental reward. Kids, by default, tend to love stories. In fact, many kids find eating and sleeping easier if the parent tells a story while the kid is trying to undertake these activities. It is easy for the teachers to build a creative writing program in school to stimulate the children’s brains and form a desire of creative writing inside them. If you are homeschooling your kid then you can develop a similar program. While making such a program, one must stick to some fundamental principles to ensure success of the program.

- Start small.

The child does not require producing great novels from the first day. Rather, find a common topic that would be of interest to the child. Get the child to write a small paragraph of around 5-10 sentences on the topic. The writing can be purely imaginative or it may contain description of the real life. For example, if you have chosen a summer afternoon as a topic, you would expect the child to mix his/her imagination with facts. On the other hand, while writing about his/her grandmother, you expect more facts rather than imaginative fictions. While repeating the process to get further small writings from the child, make sure to put a mixture of topics that involve both describing facts and exercising imagination.

- Dictate and recapitulate.

You may want the child to dictate a story to you and make a note of the story. If the dictation is too fast then you may want to take help of a recording device. On another day you may want the child to read out the story or play the tape recorder and hear the story. That way, the child will be able to connect what s/he tells, writes and hears. This connects creativity with reusing created assets and is extremely important from the view of providing the child with further motivation to write.

- Use the idea box approach if you have access to multiple children – works great if you are a teacher. In this case, you may want to bring a physical box to the class.

The children would write down a piece of idea that they would have, in order to write stories. They would write the idea on a small piece of paper and drop the paper into the box. Latter on, each child can pick up a piece of paper from the box, which would in all likelihood be someone else’s idea. Then they would have to write the story. If Tom pick’s an idea that Jenny had dropped in the box, then he would be permitted to approach Jenny to better understand what she had in her mind before he starts writing the story. Jenny may have picked up Mary’s paper and hence Jenny may approach Mary to understand the idea better. And if Mary has picket up tom’s paper, then she may approach him to understand what he has in his mind before she writes her story. This sort of idea swapping usually goes well. There may be some kids who would not feel great about others writing on their ideas, so ask the kids to have their own idea box if they prefer individual writing activity over group.

- Generate characters.

Get the child interested in writing on different characters. You may help the child in developing the imaginary characters, but make sure that every character that the child illustrates has its own flavor. The child may opt to write a story involving multiple characters with each having its own specialties, which makes the entire scenario much more complicated and challenging.

- Use software tools.

The software packages available today makes writing a much more relaxed and friendly task compared to writing with a paper and pen. Word processors greatly assist in the process. Kids these days tend to learn computers almost effortlessly and tend to type quite fast and easily. In addition, word processors would help the child both in spelling and in grammar. As a result, the child would tend to learn writing creatively in correct language faster than learning in the classical ways.

While all this might sound a stiff challenge initially, a step-by-step approach mixed with the right guidance and application of common sense would tremendously ease the task. The child would start showing signs of creativity before you really know it. And you would be surprised to know that more than 9 out of 10 children would show enough creativity to encourage you to move further ahead with the process. Start with the basic story writing that kids would find easy; and once the ice is broken in the kid’s mind, aim higher. If the kid finds it exciting, publish the stories on the Internet. Make a blog. The child is going to blossom in the longer run.

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