Children are naturally creative. As they grow and acquire new skills, they may show particular interest in a medium to channel their creativity. One of the best creative channels for children is writing, as it helps them organize their thoughts and develop language skills effectively.
If you have a little aspiring storybook author in your hands, this is what you should do to nurture their talent.
Ask them to read their writing to you, instead of asking to read their writing. This way, children would feel less policed and more encouraged, as they retain control on how to read out the narrative. Offer constructive suggestions and positive affirmation in a way that would motivate them to write more. For instance, you can say that you are really interested in a certain character and would love to learn what happens to them. Ask questions to get them thinking about their stories. Show genuine interest in the work that they pour their small hearts into.
The key to engaging with your little writers is to meet them at their level. Some kids may be shy about having someone else read their work, so offer to share yours with them. You can also encourage them to share their work with each other and discuss it among themselves.
Provide time and space to write
Anyone, regardless of age, would greatly benefit from keeping a journal, in terms of mental health and writing practice. So, give your young writers a journal where they can jot down their thoughts, visions, frustrations, and stories. These journals are their personal expressions, and, in a way, part of their personal space. Respect their privacy and only read the journal if offered.
Designate a quiet space and time solely dedicated to writing. Allow them to write in a place with minimal distractions or background noise, and encourage them to take an hour or two per day to simply write their hearts out.
Prompt them out of writer’s block
Even the most imaginative children experience writer’s block. If they express that they are stuck, offer themes and prompts that they can write about. For example, ask them to write a story set in autumn, or what will happen if a unicorn came prancing into the room. You can also challenge them to write the next installment in a favorite series, whether it is books, movies, cartoons, comics, etc., or write about a character in this series.
Make books together
Turn your little writers into full-fledged authors by putting their poems, stories, or musings into a book format. You can turn it into a group project where they make a story, illustrate it, and compile it into a DIY book made of construction paper, and staples or twine. Even better, you can publish their works as actual professionally bound books using an online book publishing tool.
Every child has a dream, and all of them deserve assurance and guidance for their dreams to come true. For young, aspiring writers, these steps make it easy for them to not only dream big, but also see their aspirations quickly turn into reality.