This creative writing game is one that both my boys and I love to play. This is really saying something considering one of us is a reluctant writer preferring to do anything other than writing with a pen or pencil!
When you think about it, writing for youngsters is a tough activity. Not only do they have to think about the ideas they want to convey, but they have to work out which words to use, how to spell them as well as how to write the letters, etc. This can be a daunting task for any young child embarking on the writing process … not to mention many adults.
This creative writing game introduces the art of storytelling through the use of pictures.
It begins with a collection of simple pictures. Limiting the number of pictures to two or three images makes the game easier to play while increasing the number increases the difficulty of the game.
Don’t Worry If You’re Not an Artist.
Simply go to the internet and print out some pictures of random objects or use clipart drawings.
The pictures do not need to be elaborate but merely suggestions of different objects. Children will draw their own interpretations of the objects anyway, so the simpler your pictures are, the better.
The selection of pictures can be random. None of them really need to relate to each other. This is part of the fun of the game – making the different objects come together to tell a story.
For example, you may include pictures of:
- a hand
- a castle
- a spider
- an elephant
- a boot
- a mountain
- a tree
- a bus
- a knight
- a raindrop
- a cup and saucer
- a book, etc.
The objective is for each person to use as many pictures as possible in a story of their own making.
How to Play the Creative Writing Game
Give your child a blank piece of paper, pens, felt pens or crayons.
Encourage them to draw their own story which includes all of the objects depicted in the starting pictures. They are free to draw the objects in their own style, including them any way they would like to.
Once the drawings are complete, either:
- Encourage your child to write a few sentences to explain what is happening in their story,
- Write the words on behalf of your child as he/she dictates the story to you.
Samples of Stories Created While Playing This Writing Game
Here are a couple of examples the boys created recently while playing this creative story game.
I love the way both boys went in different directions with their stories, creating unique and very individualised tales. Remember, they had the choice to use any of the following objects:
- A flower
- A car
- A cupcake or muffin
- A spider
- A sailing boat.
“Once upon a time a girl was looking for her car. When she was looking in the woods, she saw some muffins.”
For this story, I wrote the words down for my son as he dictated them to me.
Collaborative Story Writing
In this approach, I created the basis of the story and the boys helped to fill in many of the words. This was achieved by asking open-ended questions such as:
- Why didn’t the boat make a good home?
- How did the spider feel?
- Why did the cupcake make a good home?
While normally I love to have the boys do more of the illustrations, they were busy working on their own drawings … and I confess, I enjoyed drawing alongside them. However, many of the words came directly from the boys themselves.
Props for the Creative Writing Game
For variations on this creative writing game, you could:
- Create story card prompts – pictures printed from a clipart programme and pasted onto individual cards. Place the cards in a bag and pull out randomly to inspire creative writing.
- Create story stones, as made by Happy Hooligans which would add a wonderful tactile element to the whole game. Place the stones in a bag and then randomly pull out a number of them to form the basis of another creative writing story session.
- Use technology. We love using an app called Story Cubes as the basis for our creative writing game. This app provides random pictures which are perfect for creating stories.
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