10 Sips for the Weekend: How to make a writer

Friday, December 9, 2011

Luke and I were sitting down around our coffee table last night when suddenly he started to draw and tell me this story (I wrote the few lines you see in the paper, as he asked me):

Luke has the cookies. Mark watches.
Luke is thinking, Mark is eating the cookies

Luke finds out that the cookies are gone!
Luke follows the crumbles to Mark's door

Luke wakes up Mark in the crib
 and Mark poops the cookies!

Poor Mark, sleeping in his crib wasn't even aware that he was part of a cookie mystery story! It was also interesting to see Mark being shown in his crawling stage, and yet he has been walking for a while now! Gotta give credit for his story telling skills, though. I can't wait for him to start writing and then we will have a longer and written version of the Mystery of the Disappearing Cookies part 2!

I like to think (as any bragging mom!) that some things that I do are helping him to develop his story telling skills:

  1. Waited for him to grow up: there is a certain age when kids start to be able to imagine a story, follow a story line... That is when they will have more fun making their own story.
  2. Read lots of books for them: I believe that it is not just about reading the book, but acting the story with emotions (all those theater skills required for Broadway) so that they start to want to be part of that fun, and learn to read for themselves too.
  3. Make up a story every night: at bedtime (when everything goes according to the plan!), we usually read 2 books together and then I make up a story. It is usually short, with some fairy tale parts and always has a happy ending. It is his favorite part.
  4. Make up a story and draw as you go: last week I had the idea of telling him a make up story and at the same time drawing the story inside little squares. My drawing skills are as good as his in the pictures above, so don't worry; they will understand what you are trying to say with a few crooked lines.
  5. Make up a story and write as you go: I started to make up very simple stories where I write the first line and help him to read it, then I write the next one and so on. It creates mystery and excitement. He want to read the line so he can get to the next part of the story. 
  6. Give a book making gift: my brother gave him a book making kit for his birthday. He can draw stories, write the lines and add stickers to make it more fun. 
  7. Write and erase board: I got one of these for him to have in the car (except that he lost it and now I have to get another one!). So while we travel he can write, draw, erase and repeat.
  8. Let them play with the alphabet: there are always letters spread across the floor in the boy's bedroom (besides the Legos) . Luke always loved to play with letters, alphabet puzzles and alphabet toys. You can get cheap letters at craft stores made of foam, wood or paper. 
  9. Preschool: I noticed that Luke started to increase his ability to sit still and carry on a play or an activity after starting school. He really loves to go there, so it is a win win situation.
  10. Add other languages to the mix: I usually speak in Portuguese with Luke and he always answers in English! But he understands everything I say and if I ask him to say a word in Portuguese he is usually able to do so. Yesterday he started to sing this Alphabet song that I had never heard before. It is using the same tune as the English one but with complete different lyrics. When I asked what was that, he explained that it was in Chinese! I don't know if he learned it in preschool or navigating YouTube!
Sometimes too much love can be suffocating!