- By Art Gib
- Published 09/1/2009
Most of us spend out childhoods wrapped inside the delightful world of our own imaginations. Our inability to make sense of the adult world around is one reason why: it’s safe where children “live.” Somewhere along the line, reality tends to take over and squelch our creative sides; but if parents and teachers are careful, they can provide a way for their preteen children and students to continue nurturing their imaginations through creative writing. Give Them a Little Help It’s easy for most young kids to take a simple object like a fork and turn it into a knight in shining armor. But preteens in the process of leaving their imaginative worlds may react to the idea of writing with the following: “But I have nothing to write about.” Or, “My life is so boring!” To get their creative juices flowing, offer them prompts so that they don’t have to do all the thinking themselves. There are a plethora of creative writing prompts appropriate for all ages on the internet: seek them out. Don’t Sweat the Grammar Too Much
Most kids are discouraged from engaging in creative writing because they are afraid that their grammar won’t be “right.” Correct grammar is a skill that they will continue to devel
op as they grow older into high school and young adulthood: adults must be cover not to be such sticklers for correctness that they effectively snuff out any desire for children to be creative. When they write, talk more about their story line than sentence structure; about their character development rather than their punctuation. Encourage kids to illustrate their writings: to give a face to what’s going on in their heads. Many children who are reluctant writers find that they can express themselves much more effectively through drawing: they move on to the written word when they’re ready. Find Unique Ways For Them to Hone Their Talents There are some great summer camps in the United States that are specifically designed to encourage children to express their creativity through writing. If your child is interested in writing, find a camp or community education program where she can receive ideas and encouragement from professionals who know how to really get kids excited about writing again.
Creative writing can be a lifelong enjoyable pursuit for people of all ages and nationalities. But it’s important for adults to encourage writers when they are young and provide opportunities for them to grow and develop their talents without judgment. With creative writing, you really don’t have to grow up at all!