A few weeks back, I wrote about my son the doodler. Since then, his drawings have been evolving and getting more and more varied and sophisticated. He has been using up sheets and sheets of paper (and a few walls) at a rapid pace, faster than I could keep up with.
Then I stumbled across this awesome idea from Katie at A Little Pinch of Perfect to get the kids to write a story book. It was the perfect way to build on his interest in drawing and doodling. So one afternoon, I suggested to Nathan that we write a story for daddy. He jumped at the idea right away.
Here’s an outline of how we did this activity…
1 sheet of coloured A4 paper
2-3 sheets of plain white A4 paper
Pens, pencils, markers/textas for drawing
Assembling the booklets
Stack the sheets of the white A4 paper together with the sheet of coloured paper on top. Fold it in half, and staple the edges together to form a little booklet.
[I’ve actually made several ‘doodle books’ using this method for Nathan to draw and scribble in. I date each booklet (just a simple note on the month and year) as they get used up - I think would be interesting to look back on them down the track and see how his doodles and drawings have evolved and developed].
The writing and illustrating process
After the booklet was put together, Nathan got to work on the illustrations on his own.
I didn’t try to offer too much prompting but just let him have free reign with his ideas and imagination. The only thing I did during the illustration process was to ask if he had finished drawing on a page before prompting “Okay, let’s turn the page to draw the next picture”.
After he had finished drawing on each page, we went through the book together and Nathan explained what each drawing was about. I then wrote down his narration and description on each page.
Finally we recorded the title and author of the story on the front cover. I also noted down the date down at the bottom corner for remembrance.
Some tips on the story writing activity…
- Try not to offer too many instructions while your child is drawing and illustrating the story but allow them as much creative freedom as possible.
- The story might end up somewhat disjointed (especially with younger children) but I think that’s okay. My son didn’t mind at all and absolutely loved his story.
- Don’t feel compelled to extract out a full narration of each drawing from your child. Even a simple labelling of each object drawn is terrific.
- For younger children, start with just a very small number of pages to begin with. I started with three sheets of A4 but then reduced it to two which was more than enough to make a 5-8 page book (depending on whether your child draws on both sides of each page).
- Read the story together with your child afterwards. They will definitely feel proud of their work. I also placed their book on the bookshelf along with all the other books so they know for certain that their book is a full-fledged book.
P.S. Check out our variation of this activity: designing our own ‘lift the flap’ book.
Linking up to Jess for IBOT