I recently went on a road trip to Sydney with my family. Six hour day, 9 hour day, then a day at a wedding. Then turn around and head home again. That sounds like it could be fun, until I tell you that along with my wife, my family consists of my 5 year old daughter, and two sons, 3 and 10 months. Then the words ‘road trip’ take on a whole new meaning.
but you know what, it was great. The kids were amazing. We didn’t even break out the big guns of the portable DVD players until on the way home. Up until then they coloured in and read and talked and asked questions and asked questions and asked questions and… (That last was mainly my daughter).
One of the other things we did do was have a game of story telling where each person adds a sentence or two to the story. The ten month old didn’t have much to say, and my wife and I spent a large portion of the story fixing the things that the 3 year old said had broken.
But my daughter can tell a great story.
She had all sorts of things going on, but the thing I found most pleasing…
At the start of the story a dinosaur (yes , that was the 3 year old’s idea) looked in the pantry but the only food available were horrible things like fairy cakes and fairy break and magic muffins and things like that, so he went off to look for something better. And on the other side of the forest he found a fairy and a gnome and they gave him some good stuff to eat (I think it might have been sticks of some kind). So the dinosaur invited them over for dinner…
And after ten minutes of story telling, my daughter remembered all the horrible food and the pantry and had the dinosaur prepare it for the fairy and gnome. Now, being the pantser that I am, I had steered the story in that direction, but I really didn’t expect her to pick up on the idea and run with it.
Before that she has occasionally written stories, dictating the words to someone so they could write them down for her then drawing pictures to go with them. I love that she is interested in that kind of thing and already shows some ability to think about a story. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe all kids can do that at 5. I don’t know.
I know that experts say that the best way to get kids interested in reading is simply to have books around the house. But maybe the best way to get them interested in writing is to do writing around the house. I hope so.