Helping a young child write their own book is a great way to encourage a love of reading. Children have very vivid imaginations and there is nothing they enjoy more than sharing a good story.
Encouraging a Child's Creativity
The experience of writing a book is sure to instill a sense of pride and accomplishment in any child. After going to the library and visiting the local bookstore, he already understands that books have the power to educate and entertain. Creating his own book is a great way for him to share his thoughts with others.
If your child is too young to write, you can create a book by having him dictate the story to you. Just try to keep remain as accurate as possible when taking this approach. Even young children want to feel like they have some control over the creative writing process.
Topic Ideas for Helping a Young Child Write Their Own Book
In most cases, you won't need to provide much input into topics for your child to write about. Children are natural storytellers, although some have more of a flair for the dramatic than others do.
If your child is struggling for something to write about, however, here are a few ideas to consider:
- Pets or other animals
- Favorite things
- Spin-offs of popular movies or TV shows
- Creative versions of popular fairy tales
LoveToKnow Freelance Writing has a slideshow of Creative Writing Prompts for Children that may be helpful in generating additional topic ideas for your child's book.
Adding Sensory Details
Regardless of age, the best writers are those who make the reader feel as though he is a part of the story. When helping a young child write their own book, encourage them to incorporate many sensory details.
Spelling and Grammar
When helping a young child write their own book, one of the most common concerns is whether or not it's appropriate to correct spelling and grammar. For very young children, correction is not necessary. Most experts believe that mistakes are a natural part of learning to speak and that vigorous correction will discourage a child from experimenting with language. For school age children, however, it's perfectly appropriate to work on reinforcing the rules of proper spelling and grammar. Invented spelling, also known as phonetic spelling, is a very common phenomenon among children who are just learning to write. It's nothing to be concerned about, but it does make it hard for your child to share his story with others. Ask your child to read his story back to you, then write the correct spelling and grammar under his text.
Assembling a Handmade Book
Once the story is finished, it's time to assemble the book. Keep in mind the following tips to help create a book that is sure to be enjoyed:
- Use quality heavyweight cardstock instead of regular printer paper to assemble the pages of the book.
- An easy way to make a book cover is to use folders with inserts for three hole-punched papers. These folders are available in a variety of colors and sold in the school supply section of any discount store. Write the book's title and your child's name on the cover using alphabet stickers or rubber stamps.
- Encourage your child to draw colorful pictures to illustrate the story. If the characters in the book are friends and family, use copies of old photos as illustrations.
- Consider having the pages of the book laminated at your local copy shop to make it a bit more durable.
If the story is one that will interest your child's friends or family members, don't forget to make a few copies for him to give as gifts. This is a wonderful way to encourage your child to keep writing.