If you live with a kid who loves to write, it can be tough to find ways to inspire them, particularly if you’re not a writer yourself. Unless you live in a larger community, there probably aren’t writing groups specifically for kids available, and not all teachers have the tools to be as supportive as they’d like to be. So, today is all about books and websites and games for those kids. Feel free to add a few of your own.
642 Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition, 826 Valencia – 642 Things comes from the 826 Valencia writing collective, which does programming for young writers and teens. It’s a blank book full of prompts to stretch young writers’ imaginations. The books for adults are cool, too.
Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, Gail Carson Levine — Levine, an award-winning children’s author, shares writing tips and prompts on developing character and plot, as well as other topics like theme, crisis moments, and poetry. Levine has also written Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly.
Spilling Ink: a Young Writer’s Handbook, Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter – Mazer and Potter cover inspiration, character, plot, setting, revising, and keeping the momentum going – and more – and also offer writing prompts to help spark ideas.
Leap Write In: Adventures in Creative Writing, Karen Benke – Leap Write In offers writing exercises and experiments which explore all kinds of emotions and thoughts. It’s geared more for teens than younger kids. This author also wrote Rip the Page.
Creative Writing (Basher books), Mary Budzik — This book has one-page explanations and prompts for a variety of genres, story-planning and general writing challenges. Younger kids and teens both enjoy the format.
Story Cubes — The tagline for this game is Let your imagination roll wild! This set of cubes with images on them instead of numbers can be a great ice-breaker, but also works if you’re generating story-starters or creating some kind of cooperative story-telling exercise. The actions and voyages sets are also nice for adding something a little extra.
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/ — This fun site has a sort of story-starting machine to create wacky premises to spark ideas.
http://www.stonesoup.com/ — Stone Soup publishes children’s stories and art in their magazine.
And one more…
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is both an event and an organization which offers a lot of resources for writers, including some specifically for young writers at www.ywp.nanowrimo.org and www.nanowrimo.org.