All children love an interesting story and, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age." To write a story that will hold a child's interest, you must come up with an enthralling storyline. Employ a few tried-and-true ideas when creating a story for children.
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A Child's Perspective
Watch children around you and try to view the world through their eyes, or think about your own childhood. Often embellishing on true events in your past will help you write a captivating story. Young children particularly love reading about everyday events, and they enjoy stories about children that are similar to themselves. Write about a first trip to the doctor's office, a mean elementary schoolteacher, a monster under the bed, a day at the zoo or pretending to be a super hero.
Children are drawn in by stories where an animal is the main character, particularly if the animal is doing something it wouldn't normally do. A lion that lost its teeth, a monkey who learnt to roller skate or a duck that is afraid of water would make interesting stories. Consider writing about animals that children are often fearful of such as snakes, spiders or mice. Writing stories about the fear those animals have of humans, and even children, may make a child less fearful of the animals.
Children love epic stories, such as the brave knight saving a princess from a terrifying dragon. Write your own fantasy story filled with castles, unicorns, mermaids, fairies, ogres and trolls. Allow objects to come to life, such as a sword helping a knight have courage or a hairbrush giving a princess advice. Allow plants and animals to talk as well. Think of how you could rearrange the story to give a plot twist, such as the princess saving the prince or the dragon destroying the wicked witch.
Read several fairy and folktales to consider how you might rewrite the story to give it a different ending or point of view. Take antagonist characters and make them protagonists, or make protagonists into antagonists. After all, the "Three Little Pigs" could have been bullying the wolf, who was just an innocent bystander!
Remember that young children love books with repetitive lines, alliteration and rhymes that are rhythmic and catchy. Be descriptive, using thoughts and concepts that a child can relate to, such as tasting a sour piece of candy, smelling a dragon's fiery breath or explaining the tiny, squeaky voice of a ladybug. In stories for older children, remember to include a mix of humour and danger to keep the readers on their toes. Keep the story inspiring, uplifting and full of admirable morals and values.
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