We all know how important reading is to developing your child’s cognitive, problem-solving, language and creativity skills at an early age. What about writing, though? At some point in their early school years, every child is going to be asked to write a narrative, be it a theme, report or creative writing project. You can combine reading with writing to help get your child an early start on this important skill—and even create a deeper love of literature. Learn how combining writing with kids’ bedtime stories can be a great experience for you and your child to spend a rainy day together, growing together.
Kids’ Bedtime Stories
As you sit with your child reading kids’ bedtime stories in the evening, their mind is going to be fired with excitement and interest. They will start learning just from listening and early reading how sentences are constructed and how ideas can be put together to present an argument or tell a story. At some point, they may want to attempt to do this themselves. You can not only encourage this, but you can help write the story to create even more fun and a deeper bond.
Talk About the Stories Together
The first thing you need to do to develop your child’s storytelling skills is to talk about the stories you read together. Tell them about the person who wrote the story if you can. Explain how writers have to make decisions about what is going to happen to their characters.
As you read the book together, stop every now and again to ask what the child thinks might happen next in the tale, and why. This will help them to think about how stories come together and progress from one point to the next.
Break It Down
Make sure during your discussions that you break down the story. Ask the child to talk about the beginning, middle and end. Have them think about the characters, what they like and don’t like, the story’s setting, the problems the characters overcome, and how they are resolved. Guide this into a discussion of the theme—what the message might be.
After your child has a good handle on the elements that go into a story, ask them if they’d like to try creating one of their very own. Guide them through the process by asking questions and taking notes. When you’ve guided them through making up the beginning, middle and end, put all the notes together and tell their stories back to them.
It’s okay if their first few efforts are very similar to stories you’ve read them—the child is taking inspiration from what they know. Eventually, try making suggestions of things that have no relation to each other, like a car, a flower and a book, and ask them to use all of them in a new story.
If you need a good resource for stories to use during reading time, try an interactive eBook. Check out the wealth of books available on our site, and explore for more great early reading and writing tips and tools today!