Writing Tips

We know getting started can be hard, and getting stuck is a normal part of the creative process.

Here are some tips for keeping your kids excited about writing.

  1. Be playful

    Set a playful mood. No time pressure, no wrong or 'dumb' ideas, no mistakes. Being playful always helps, especially with kids who are reluctant readers and writers.

    Go first and come up with something fantastically silly. Make sure to make a 'mistake' β€” misspell a word, or use incorrect grammar, or change your mind about the subject you came up with first. Scribble it out, no big deal!
  2. Match their interests

    Make the most of those little obsessions kids develop. Are they really, really into spaceships right now? Well, there's a good place to start!*

    *Fair warning: yes, that could make them want to add spaceships to every single story in the book!

    What TV shows, movies or books is the child most excited by at the moment? What in particular do they like β€” the characters, the action or humor, the story themes or settings?

    Borrow the best bits and add them to a story in your Pancake book.

  3. Set them up

    Our imaginations can't help filling in the...

    Blanks. The creative mind wants to make things whole. It gets all excited when asked to find a missing piece.

    So, spark a kid's creativity by leaving your contributions to the story unfinished. You can vary the difficulty by making the set-up more or less complete β€” notice the difference between:

    Jason loves tigers. A tiger's fur is black and ____

    Jason loves tigers. A tiger's fur is ____

    Jason loves tigers. A tiger has ____

    If the child doesn't bite, don't fret. Finish your own set-up, continue to the next sentence and leave it hanging, too. They'll bite eventually!

    Below is a wonderful example from Maria, a customer who recently shared a story she wrote with her 5-year-old daughter.

    See the set-ups? Maria uses this tactic throughout, skilfully keeping the just-right level of difficulty. Kudos, Maria!