When a child is at a young age, they tend to enjoy learning new things. Children develop their imagination and find it easier to understand the concept at hand when children learn through play.
But kids will tend to enjoy learning from those with them most of the time, which means that books for kids may be the easiest way to ensure your child gets an education with fun involved. To make learning more fun, why not have your child write their book?
Some publishing companies already allow you to self-publish a manuscript. Also, even though this sounds like a lot of work on paper, it’s going to be pretty simple if you follow these steps.
1. Talk about the idea.
Discuss what writing is and what kind of story your child would like to tell. Once you have a concept ready, it’s time to start writing!
2. Expose your kid to different stories.
Read your child’s simple stories as well as complex ones. This will help them see the differences between publications. Then read them your story and have your child tell you what they think could be changed or improved upon.
3. Start from the most straightforward book idea: stick figures!
Draw a square about three inches long and two inches wide and then divide this square into fourths diagonally like: \ / \ / \.
Now, draw an eye inside each of these squares and give your character a few other distinguishing features such as hair, clothes, legs, arms, etc. If you want to have more fun with the process, you can use your child’s toys or other household items as characters.
4. Expand the drawings.
Next, go over a few tips on drawing everyday objects such as chairs, tables, and even small, simple things like flowers and books. These are common enough that your children will likely know what they look like without too much explanation from you.
But if you’d still like to take further steps in developing the book, these sketches would be helpful for ideas on where to take the story so far. After this is complete, discuss structure by talking about setting, etc.
5. From here, it is time to begin writing.
Keep sentences short and simple at first. Read each sentence out loud before you write it down.
This will help your child figure out what words are missing or need to be changed so that the sentence is correct and understandable and makes sense to the reader. Keep this step simple at first because kids have a short attention span. If you get too detailed with instructions, they’ll lose interest quickly.
6. Outline the story.
If you’d like an extra challenge for yourself and your child, try coming up with a way of illustrating what’s going on in the story as you write it. There are many ways to do this, but one successful example would be creating a timeline and drawing in stick figures each time something different happens in the book until it is entirely complete.
You can also create different characters and make them interact with each other such as:
- What would happen if the chair could talk?
- Make a setting outside like at a playground or even on a farm!
By creating interesting characters and environments, your child will be aware of how fun writing can be. One important thing to keep in mind when working with children is that their attention span isn’t always long. It’s okay to end the activity anytime you feel things aren’t going well, or everyone needs a break.
If your child enjoys the activity, you can continually develop new characters and create a sequel to see what happens next. You can also get inspiration from the legends.
There are so many great children’s book authors out there who have written works that your child will enjoy reading. Some of these include but are not limited to Dr. Seuss, JK Rowling, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Roald Dahl, John Steinbeck, Lewis Carroll, etc.
If you’d like examples of good children’s books, visit your local library or go online. You can read reviews and recommendations at sites like Goodreads as well.
Overall, this process is an excellent way of teaching children about writing techniques and sentence structure and, most importantly, giving them practice with their writing to feel proud when they finish their book after all the hard work.
There are many things parents can do to help improve literacy rates in young children, so why not try something novel like this? Even if your child’s story isn’t published, just having fun creating something simple will be an invaluable experience that they won’t soon forget.