We started a light school schedule last week, and I've already discovered a few helpful tools to make the year go smoother, especially on those days that are more defined by the word perspiration than preparation.
If your family is anything like ours, there are some who love to write and are always developing another imaginative story, and some who have just as active imaginations, but would rather act them out with their army men and Legos than write them down on paper.
I've been looking for a way to draw some of those army men types into the art of creative writing for a while now. And frankly, some days, I myself could use some help in that area after all the years of "mommy brain", and everything else that seems to suck the creative juices right out of me.
I saw these story cubes at Target a long time ago, and thought about trying them out, but never quite got around to it.
After that, I decided to get our own set and give it a try with the kids.It worked out really well, and we all had a blast telling outlandish, wacky stories. Even my lego-loving "army man" got involved.
It was also good to see how each child thinks differently. My older kids used the cubes more metaphorically, while the younger ones really enjoyed telling a literal version of their story. Some spoke in the third person while some used the first person, so we were also able to discuss styles and tools of storytelling.
After a few warm-up rounds, we decided to end with illustrating a scene from their last story, before writing them down in a composition book. That way, the process of writing the story out was a way of recording the scenes from their imagination. Here are some samples of their illustrations.
The story cubes are a great way to get kids thinking creatively. If your'e rolling the dice at a table, the storytelling easily flows into writing and illustrating. So, keep the art supplies and composition books close by!
We will definitely be using these handy writing prompts again this year. I already have kids asking to use them again, including "army man". Do you have other creative writing tools that you use in your homeschool? If so, I would love to hear about them!