Have you ever listened to your child tell you a story and just been amazed at their imagination?? I love the crazy ideas Lulu comes up with, and how excited she gets to share them with me! With how creative kiddos are, a great activity to do together is writing stories with your kids.
Depending on the age and interests of your kids, there are a few ways you can go about writing a story together! Lulu and I have done all of them, but I generally do the writing since she’s only 4. But when they’re short stories and I have time (and patience) to spare, sometimes I’ll help her write it herself!
It can be surprising what stories our children come up with. Whether it be super clever, funny, out of the box, or show a level of understanding we didn’t know they had. I am often left amazed at the ideas my little 4-year-old has!
Writing stories with your kids is such a wonderful way to bond with them, but it’s more than that. Listening to their thoughts and perspectives can give you some insight to their hearts, and help them feel more comfortable sharing with you. Not to mention the laughs and memories you’ll both be able to look back on together!
As mentioned before, there are a few ways Lu and I like to write stories together.
Have them draw pictures and then tell you a story about it
Kids love to express themselves through drawing, so this may be a great choice for artistic kiddos or ones that are too young to write! Sometimes I’ll just catch Lu drawing something interesting and ask her to tell me about it, totally unplanned. But then she comes up with this awesome story I just have to write down!
Another option is to do this in reverse. Have them tell you a story about whatever they’d like, while you record it. Then they can draw the artwork to go with it afterwards!
Use prompts for kids to tell story from
This is a great way to get a really good story going. One of us usually just comes up with a silly idea and Lu works from that. Sometimes when she starts to tell me about a dream she had and it’s really wild, I’ll suggest we turn it into a full story!
It can be easier to have an idea come up off the cuff like that, but sitting down to purposely write a story takes more effort for me. Sometimes it’s just hard to think of fun ideas, am I right?? So to put some creative story-starters into one spot for future use, I made a printable full of prompts below!
Use story stones
Story time just got way more interesting! Story stones are essentially just little stones with pictures on them to use as prompts. Making them couldn’t be any easier, but you can buy them as well!
The stones can be used however you and your kiddo would like. Sometimes we just take one and write a story based off of it. But to keep things interesting, and a little trickier, other time we will pick a handful of stones to make a story with.
I like to make it into a little game! I’ll take one out at a time and lay them out for Lu to make up a story about. Then once she gets going, I’ll take another stone and put it down. She has to stop where she’s at in the story, and somehow transition to whatever the new stone portrays.
Sometimes I have to help her, but often she makes the jump all on her own. Like I said, kids can amaze you sometimes with how intelligent they are! We usually end up with a really wacky story, but it’s so fun to see the direction it goes!
Write about an experience they had
As a mama, this is probably my favorite type of story to write. The other ones are really fun and will be hilarious to look back on, but this one pulls at my heart-strings!
Occasionally Lu will write a story about her day, or an experience she had recently. For example, we went to our village playground last week after a long, cold winter of being inside. So she wanted to write a story about it!
This is my favorite one because I can see events that really happened through the eyes of my child. Plus she likes to take creative liberties, so it’s still really funny to hear her thoughts. Our playground has a purple dinosaur to rock on, so naturally her story involved riding a giant dinosaur around town haha.
It can also be incredibly touching to see a day from their point of view. What may have felt like an exhausting day at the museum for me, turned out to be the most magical day for the kids! I love listening to her tell a recap of the day and seeing positivity in places where I might have missed it. And it definitely makes me feel better as a mom on days where I felt like all I did was yell!
Make memories you can keep + cherish forever
Writing stories with your kids can benefit your kids (and you) on so many levels. The quality time spent together, feeling listened to, learning about storytelling and writing, and growing that amazing imagination. For all the benefits to reading, how much more can they gain from coming up with the story themselves?!
I have kept all the stories we’ve written together so far, and I plan to continue to save them as my kids get older. I think I may bind them together in some way to make an entire book of their little stories to give them when they get older. Hopefully they enjoy reading their work then as much as we do now!
Writing stories with your kids is a great way to blend fun and learning. If you’re looking for other easy educational activities you can do at home with your kiddos, check out this post on 5 science experiments for kids! I’ll bet you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry 🙂