While perusing tons of books and calendars, I came upon a group of beautiful writing diaries. I knew that they were writing diaries because there was a mother there encouraging her daughter to pick one out. Over and over again mom pleaded with her child to select one so that her daughter could use it to capture all of her child’s “great ideas”.
“I don’t know what you want me to write!” complained the child. Mom told her that she could write about anything. The push and pull went on for another five full minutes until the little girl gave in and selected a journal. As the child slunk away from the table she whispered , “She drives me crazy! I don’t like to write…I don’t want to write!”
I climbed into my car thinking about mother and daughter. On one hand I applauded the mom for encouraging her daughter to write and for providing a method for recording her child’s thoughts. On the other hand I felt sorry for the child as she truly seemed perplexed as to how she would now fill this colorful thought collector.
Sometimes children need more than a command to stimulate creative writing. Even if they love to write, coming up with an idea to write about can be challenging. So here is a thought, give them some help. Find a picture, postcard, website or magazine with an unusual picture in it and then tantalize their interest with a few cues. Use these as writing prompts to get them started. Down below I’ve attached a couple of my own photos and one from on line , as examples of what you might use with your own kids.
PICTURE ONE: Looks like someone forgot their bicycle. I wonder who? Maybe it’s just resting before it takes a doctor or a mailman all around the city. The basket looks like it could hold a lot; maybe me , maybe even my dog!
PICTURE TWO: I think I see a Princess peaking out. Do you?
PICTURE THREE: What a spooky doorway…wonder where it leads to? Could it be to a mine and old workshop, a store from long ago? Could there be money hidden inside? Do you want to go in? I do!
PICTURE FOUR: Who could she be? A witch, a magician, a mom, a teacher or an actress...or maybe someone quite different! I wonder if she has magic powers?
Whether you want your child to write something short, start a longer story or describe an event, give them the help of a few good clues and then let them go!