Christopher Edge, author of How to Write Your Best Story Ever!
, shares his five top tips to help you fan the flames of your child's creative writing in the run-up to Christmas.
Find more inspiration with our books for budding artists and writers.
1. Story sparks
Every story needs a spark of inspiration. Encourage your child to look out for Christmas-themed story ideas. Maybe a last-minute shopping trip could be the setting for a comic Christmas tale, or a newspaper headline about refugees could inspire a story about the true meaning of Christmas.
2. All you need is a book
If you want to inspire a young author, books make the perfect Christmas gift. And why not give your child with a creative space that's all their own – a notebook or journal for them to scribble down story ideas, invent incredible characters or even draw pictures of the places where they want to set their story. A writer's notebook is a private place where they can gather their inspiration, so don't go sneaking a peek when they’ve gone to sleep on Christmas Eve!
3. Santa’s story
Everyone knows that Father Christmas eats the mince pies on Christmas Eve and leaves the crumbs behind. But how about Father Christmas leaving behind the first line of a story too? Tear out a scrap of paper from a diary showing the date ‘December 24th’ with the handwritten line, “Looks like being another busy night…” When your child finds this near fireplace, ask them to finish Father Christmas’s diary for the busiest night of his year.
4. Remix for Christmas
Making a mash-up story that mixes together characters from different books, films and TV shows can be a lot of fun. Cut out pictures of different characters from your Christmas TV guide and create a Christmas story that brings them all together. How about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who teaming up to solve a Christmas mystery on Coronation Street? Encourage your child to let their imagination run wild as they write their mash-up story.
5. Make it fun
Christmas is the perfect time to play games as a family, so why not create your own story-telling game too. Choose the first line of a book for inspiration – that’s the opening line of your story. Now everyone has to add the next sentence to the story before passing it on to the next person. Make these as wild and wacky as you can and you’ll soon end up with a story that has the whole family laughing!
More from Oxford Owl
- For writing inspiration and activities, download Harriet Muncaster's free Guide to Writing Stories. Why not also take part in her writing challenge:
- Take a look at our creative writing activities page for book recommendations and free activities.
- The Oxford Owl blog has lots of tips and ideas for sparking young writers' imaginations, such as 4 tips to inspire children's creative writing, How to find the perfect words for your story, and 4 fun ways to develop characters for a short story.