Would you like to write for the children in your life? Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Adopt a song. Write your own version of a favourite song for a child in your life. For inspiration, click here for songs I wrote for my sprogs, based on popular ballads.
2. Create a baby’s first word book, with a theme such as “favourite toys,” “favourite animals,” “my favourite colour” or “baby’s first words,” illustrated with photographs, cut-outs from magazine, or mixed media such as candy wrappers or fabric. The “Making Books” website has excellent, clear instructions for making first books for children.
3. Ultimate Poetry. Take the 10 silly poems in 30 minutes challenge. The sillier the better — just get them down! This exercise is adapted from one of the key warm-ups in Natalie Goldberg’s seminal creative writing guide, Writing Down the Bones. Goldberg suggests coming to the page impromptu, but I find it helpful to have a few ideas in mind before sitting down.
4. Refresh a favourite fairy tale by narrating it from an alternative point of view. My students have written spirited versions of Cinderella from the point of view of the clock, Snow White from the point of view of woodsman, and Rumpelstiltskin from the point of view of . . . the straw. Click here for examples of their work. This exercise was inspired by Mini Grey’s delightful The Pea and the Princess, narrated by the famous legume.
5. Revisit Your childhood. Is your child experiencing an important transition or other challenge? Do you remember experiencing something similar? Write a short memoir about it. Children treasure a stories written especially for them.
6. Help your child overcome a challenge. Writing a story addressing a special challenge that your child is encountering can be a loving, helpful way to communicate empathy and to help your child explore strategies and solutions. For inspiration, read this interview with author Jane Whelen Banks, who created the Lovable Liam series to teach social skills to her son, who was on the autism spectrum.