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Giving your children a love for literature from an early age can have a truly transformative effect. If you cultivate the passion from a young age, reading can ripple through your child’s life and support their ambitions. As it’s National Storytelling Week, we’ve got some top tips on generating that enthusiasm and helping your kids create their own exciting stories.
With a pack of colourful pens and a few sheets of paper, it’s time to start a brainstorming session. Encourage your child to put all their ideas, no matter how ludicrous, onto paper. For some kids, visualising a concept can make all the difference and can act as a helpful reference point when writing. Keep the ideas flowing until you’ve discovered a brilliant one.
Character and setting
Once you and your little one have a general idea of the story, your main character and their environment should be focused on next. The more your child knows about their character, the deeper they’ll be able to write about them. Ask them what the character’s favourite movie is, what they have for dinner or even who they’d be friends with. Even if they don’t use this information, these layers will inform their own image of the main character.
Beginning, middle and an end
Next up is the plot. Planning out the fundamentals of a story (the beginning, middle and end) rather than rushing through will keep their story well-paced. With a solid structure, your little one has a line to stick by, without going off on unnecessary tangents. Once you’ve got those three pillars planned out, the whole story will start slotting into place.
A wide, diverse and vibrant vocabulary is a brilliant life skill to acquire from a young age. Stoking that interest in words can start during these writing sessions, while making your children’s stories even more exciting. When they’re putting pen to paper, make sure they have a children’s dictionary handy so they can experiment freely with their words.
One of the most exciting things about writing is the boundless possibilities. Whether your little one wants to write about dungeons and dragons or pirating on the seven seas, writing allows them to travel wherever they please. Stay committed to storytime every night and they’ll be the new J K Rowling in no time.