For my first post as an excited new member of the Limebird team, I thought I would share a few ideas for games and activities that you can do with children to help stimulate their interest in creative writing and storytelling.
1) Alphabet Story – Write the letters of the alphabet on individual pieces of card and place them face down. A complete story must be told in 26 sentences. The first child picks up a card and tells the first sentence of the story using that letter to start the first word. Each child takes a turn adding a sentence to the story, starting with whichever letter they pick up. Whoever picks up the last letter must finish off the story with their line.
2) The Description Game – Print off or cut out from magazines some pictures of unusual characters or landscape/room scenes. Place them face down without the children having seen them. The first child randomly picks one of the pictures, and without showing it to the others, starts to describe the picture whilst the other children draw what is being described. They must only draw what is described without adding anything extra. At the end, they will enjoy comparing how close their drawings are to the original picture. This helps to teach them the significance of detail in descriptions. It works best when the child who is describing cannot see what is being drawn by the others until the end.
3) Fold and write – Each child has a piece of paper and a pen. Instruct them to each write a boys name at the top of the paper and then fold the top over to hide the name and pass their paper round to the next person. They should then write a girl’s name, and again fold it over and pass it on. Then carry on in the same way with naming a place they have gone to, something that happened when they got there, something that the boy said, something that the girl said, and what happened in the end. When finished, open them all up and each person takes a turn telling one of the stories.
4) Sentimental objects – Place a number of small objects into a bag. Tell the children that one at a time, they must reach into the bag and pull out whatever the first object is that they touch. They then have to imagine that this object is something that is very special and precious to them, and they have to tell the story of the object, starting “This object is very special to me because…”. The fun is in the choice of objects; rather than choosing obviously precious objects, go for things like a screwed up tissue, a broken pencil, a sock with a hole in it etc.
5) Something out of nothing – Print off or cut out some pictures of mundane activities, such as a lady drinking a cup of tea, a man sitting in a chair, a cat eating (advertisements can be a good source for these pictures). Tell the children that they are all going to be journalists. Each one must choose a picture and then write a news story based on the picture. They must make a mundane activity sound interesting and newsworthy. You may need to have done a sample one yourself beforehand to show them e.g. ‘The residents of a small sleepy village were shocked when they saw Mary Smith (43) drinking a cup of tea in her garden. Neighbour John (52) said “I couldn’t believe it when I saw what she was doing, she had a brown cup, full to the top with tea, and was sipping it slowly”. A close friend revealed that this was not the first time Mary had been seen drinking tea’. The children should come up with a snappy headline for their story, and stick the picture on to the page. All the stories can then be clipped together into a finished newspaper.
Do you have any other ideas for games and activities that encourage creative writing in children?
Editor’s note – If you would like to learn more about LimebirdVanessa, you can do so here – Meet The Team B x