Welcome to Camp PBS Parents! All summer long, the Adventures in Learning team is bringing you ideas to make summer learning fun. The set up for today’s adventure is simple, but the results are pretty spectacular.
Every great writer needs a great space; and there’s no better space than a one-of-a-kind, genuine, kid-made writing tent. A safe and cozy writing tent can inspire some fantastic tales.
A proper writing tent requires:
- sharpened pencils
- bedsheets, table cloths or fabric remnants
- a stack of reading material
- and most important of all: a healthy imagination
The Set Up
The set up is pretty simple. Throw some bedsheets, tablecloths, or cheap fabric remnants over a table. Add a pillow or two to the floor and provide writing materials (e.g., sharpened pencils, journal, etc). Oh, and tell the kids to stock it with their favorite books. After all, every great writer is also a great reader. You can also include a sketchbook for aspiring graphic novel writers.
Offer the kids a snack and tell them to write a story or two or twelve! If you find they’re having trouble, help them along with a writing prompt. Click here for a list, or choose one of the following:
- Write about your day. Go through and make sure you’re really specific. How did you feel when you woke up this morning? What was the first thought that came into your head? Describe what you ate for breakfast. No detail is too small.
- Write down a recent dream you had. Do you remember anything strange or weird about it? Were you afraid or happy? Was it colorful or did you dream in black and white?
- Describe the neighborhood where you live. Are there many streets? What’s your favorite place to go? Does your neighborhood have any spots that are good to play with your friends? What are the people like? How about the houses/buildings?
- Write a story about a trip you’d love to go on. It can be real or fantasy. What will you pack? How will you get there? What will you see? What will you eat? How long will you stay? How will you get home?
- Create a story about a character who is always gloomy. Describe how they look, sound, and move. Then make something happen to them in the story that makes them the opposite of gloomy. Describe how they look, sound, and move now.
- Write a fan letter to your favorite fictional character. What you appreciate most about him/her/it?
Many thanks to the good people at 826 National for the inspiration for this project! I highly recommend their book Don’t Forget to Write. It’s chock full of writing prompts for kids of all ages. Don’t be surprised if it inspires you to try a few of the prompts yourself. They’re wildly fun!