Writing For Children

By on October 18, 2017

Herman was a very friendly frog ...

Writing for children can be fun once you've been a parent and realize how much they treasure early memories and favorite stories. Remembering your favorite toys, books, stuffed animals, places, surroundings and neighbors would be the first place to recall life's most inspiring events from our childhood years. Add to that, all that you've witnessed first hand in your beginning family, and you can see your window of opportunity for inspiring a child amounts to a few precious years that form an entire future.

First think of the age you want to write for. For baby, mostly simple pictures next to one word on indestructible formats using big or fat lettering. For the two-year-old, several words and more detailed pictures. For three to four years old, you'll want to use a very brief, clear sentence structure that brings out the content of a visual with vivid descriptive language. When the child is five or six years old, they're ready for Kindergarten or First Grade, and may be happy with fewer pictures or photographs of nature and art that fascinate our imagination in greater detail.

Let the child know that their artwork is highly valuable and memorable to the grown-up world of books. Trying to outshine a child's skill may get them to Disney World in their heart, but there was only one Walt Disney, and life doesn't need to be all about competition. Fun happens with sentimental things we can all accomplish. Fun is participating.

Let's think of an example in the area of content for a toddler's book:

Page 1  Clouds are cool.

Page 2  Look at the shapes.

Page 3  What do you see?

Page 4  I see a sheep.

Page 5  What do you see?

Page 6  I see a boat.


Now let's think about the child nearing Kindergarten.

The Paper Turkey

Page 1  (artwork) Children's Thanksgiving Turkey from construction paper

Page 2  "Every Thanksgiving, we eat turkey, but the most fun is making one."

Page 3  (artwork) Boy or girl (or both) with their scissors and construction paper cutting shapes at a small table

Page 4  "Be careful with the scissors!"

Page 5  (artwork) A picture of supplies -- glue, string, warm, fall colors for paper, plastic eyes or buttons .. etc.

Page 6  "You have to have the right colors to make a good turkey."


Suddenly, you feel ready to take this on like a sock puppet, and write your first or fifth children's book, but who will love it? Who will make the art? Go to the school and ask whether they want to contribute in any way. You MAY even be a local artist with grassroots supplies. Good luck!

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