6 Tips to Develop Creative Writing Skills in Kids
Looking to cultivate your child's creative writing skills at home? Check out these six tips on how you can use your child's dreams as a prompt for creative writing.
1. Ask good questions
Talk to your child about their dreams and let them know you're there to listen and support their imagination. When your child describes the story in their dreams, ask them about their feelings, the colours of the sky and landscape, and how events played out to jog their memory and encourage detailed description.
2. Practise the 'show, don't tell' rule
'Show, don't tell' is a great creative writing rule to follow, and encourages children to use active verbs to show what's happening in their story rather than simply reporting the facts. You can get your child to start off by writing a play‑by‑play recount of their dream. Then get them to rewrite their story in a way that shows the same information. For example, 'The dinosaur was scared' could become, 'the dinosaur trembled and ran away to hide'.
3. Create a storyboard
A storyboard is a series of pictures that tell a story. It resembles a comic strip and can be a fun way for your child to plan and visualise how they will tell their story. Often our recollection of dreams becomes lost after waking up. Storyboards are a great way to help your child evoke imagery from their dreams or create new ones.
4. Help your child keep a dream journal
A dream journal is a great way to help your child record dreams and write them down before they forget. They can decorate and personalise their own dream journal and fill it with words and pictures.
5. Provide other tools for creative expression
Sometimes writing isn't the easiest option for your child to express their dream experiences. By providing other tools for creative expression, you can encourage them to bring their dreams to life in other ways such as art, dance, theatre or puppets. By experimenting with different tools for expression, they may find new ideas, motivation and inspiration to write.
6. Try not to interpret
Feel free to help your child interpret their own dreams or tell them what you would think about if you were having the same ones – but remember to encourage their creativity and interpretation skills by letting them make any final decision on what their dreams may represent.