If you’ve ever tried to teach your child how to write a story, then you’ll love our ‘Ten tips for unlocking your child’s imagination when story writing.’
Nurturing your child’s imagination and fostering strong storytelling skills is a wonderful way to inspire creativity and build their language capability as they grow. Writing stories allows children to express themselves, explore the power of language and improves their communication skills.
Unlocking your child’s imagination when story writing is an important part of their growth and development.
Here are our ten tips for unlocking your child’s imagination when story writing:
1. Create a Supportive Environment
Select a calm and relaxing space for your child to being their writing journey. It is essential to create a supportive environment with all the tools and resources they will need to successfully write a story. Play together, talk about ideas, listen to their thoughts and provide positive reinforcement as they share with you. It’s really important to cultivate a positive atmosphere where they feel inspired and their imagination can flourish.
2. Inspire Creativity
Spark their curiosity and creativity by introducing them to various forms of storytelling through a variety of media. Read books on a wide variety of topics, explore different genres, watch age-appropriate movies and practice storytelling at bedtime. Encourage your child to imagine different endings to stories they know well, create their own characters within those narratives and to draw those characters to help bring the story to life.
3. Encourage Frequent Writing
As with most things, practice ensures you improve and achieve results. For children developing story writing skills, consistency is important, but having fun is the key to building an affinity for writing. Encourage your child to write regularly, even if it’s just a few sentences or a short paragraph each day. This will help them build their confidence, creativity and also strengthen their storytelling abilities.
4. Brainstorm Story Ideas
Brainstorm ideas together, create a mindmap and most importantly listen to your child’s words and stories. Use open questions as a way to tease out further details and refine plot lines by encouraging them to explore different characters, topics and settings. The more you talk about their story ideas, the more their story will develop and take on a creative life of its own.
5. Develop Characters
Characters help bring children’s stories to life. They are at the heart and soul of a great story and should reflect the interests and life of your child. Guide your child in creating interesting and relatable characters. The hero or main character of their story should be a child of a similar age, a pet or imaginary friend. Usually children write stories about characters they can relate to, so rather than making an adult the hero, they will usually pick a character closer to their own age and circumstances. With older children, discuss character traits, motivations, and backstories. Encourage your child to think about how their character will change throughout the story.
6. Create a story outline
Children will need help to create a structure for their story. You can help your child by discussing what will happen at the beginning, middle, and end of their story. Work together to identify the three key events and plot points that will happen throughout the story. This process helps them plan their story, organize their thoughts and ensures the story has an engaging narrative.
7. Encourage Descriptive Writing
Descriptive writing will help bring your child’s story to life. Encourage your child to use descriptive words in their story. Help them with this by teaching them how to include sensory details e.g. sights, sounds, smells, and feelings, to make their story come alive. Expand their vocabulary by introducing new words and phrases that can be included in a list of ‘Interesting Words’ at the end of their story.
8. Provide Constructive Feedback
Let your child immerse themselves into their story. Allow them to write it down before you provide constructive feedback. Once your child has finished, offer encouragement and constructive feedback to help them improve their story writing ability. Use the sandwich method when providing feedback e.g positive, suggestions for improvement, positive. Highlight their strengths and praise their work. Provide specific suggestions for improvement, focusing on areas like character development, dialogue, or pacing of the story.
9. Embrace Revision and Editing
Edit, edit, edit. One of the most important techniques when writing is ensuring you revise your work and edit it for accuracy, flow and relevance. Teach your child the importance of revising and editing their work. Guide them through the process of reviewing their story for grammar, punctuation, and clarity. Writing is an interative process that takes time, effort and energy to master.
10. Celebrate Achievements
This is the most important point in our ‘Ten tips for unlocking your child’s imagination when story writing.’ Just like we celebrate wins in business and life, ensure you celebrate your child’s creative writing achievements too. Whether they complete a story, reach a word count milestone, or showcase their work to others, acknowledge their efforts and show pride in their accomplishments. This positive reinforcement will motivate your child to continue writing and further improve their storytelling skills.
Helping your child write a story is a remarkable opportunity to nurture their creativity, imagination, and language skills. By creating a supportive environment, brainstorming ideas, and providing guidance throughout the writing process, you will empower your young writer to share their unique stories with the world.
Story Writing in Action
In 2022 we helped eight year old, Theodore Martin, achieve his dream of becoming a published author. His book ‘Sunlights Adventure’ became a best selling book on Amazon in multiple categories. Theodore wrote a story about his favourite chicken, Sunlight. He let his imagination run free and came up with a series of challenges Sunlight would face throughout the story. Theodore was really proud of writing ‘Sunlight’s Adventure’ and gifted a copy of his book to the 30 students in his class.
We assist children and young authors from around the globe to become published authors through our ‘Children’s Self Publishing Assistance Program’. Reach out to learn more about how we can help your child become a published author.
Joanne Martin is an International Best-Selling Publisher and Author. She’s the CEO and Founder of Golden Earth Publishing. Her bespoke publishing house specialises in corporate books, children’s books, solo author books and manuscript development for innovative business owners and creative thought leaders. You can view her books, colouring books and journals, including options for purchasing on Amazon.