Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels
The Birth Of A Character
The younger one has started enjoying the Tania books. Sonia, the character she inspired, is her favorite, of course! But she did not appreciate being the inspiration for the side character, in books where the star character is inspired by her sister.
Now all of 4, she is in the phase of demanding her rights and making sure she isn't the shortchanged sibling. So she asked for a story where her alter ego gets to be the main character. Why she chose Maurya as the name of her literary avatar beats me, but hey, I was following orders. Theirs not to reason why ... etc, etc.
The younger one has a wild and terrific imagination. While my older one and I enjoyed writing stories about everyday things, the younger one prefers more excitement, action and let's just say it, madness.
Work Can Be Fun!
To write a story that she would enjoy, I had her help me develop the plot. But a good story on an unfamiliar subject needs research and field work, so we set out to enjoy the rain (yeah writers get to call it research), to get a feel for the backdrop we had already chosen for our story.
We went to the outdoor common area of our housing society and walked around. Swirling misty clouds, the sweet smell of damp earth, vegetation revitalized by the rain after a long hot summer, leaves shinning bright green with the dust washed off, and whistling winds, all served as inspiration. We talked about how enchanting everything looked and were drawn to the idea, that magic was an inherent part of the monsoon atmosphere.
We bounced ideas off each other, and bit by bit, we built a story as we walked about admiring the views of the mountains shrouded in mist. Everything we saw, particularly a pomegranate tree we had never noticed before, triggered ideas. We talked about how we could put all the ideas together in to a coherent story.
Mini G, the pseudonym the younger one has chosen for herself, had a great time splashing in puddles, which you will see contributed to our story. After we had paid a visit to every puddle, making sure none were feeling left out, we headed home and penned down the story.
Mini G made a crayon drawing, which we used to create the cover. Pell G (my older daughter), could not bear to be left out, and contributed some crayon illustrations.
Ideas Are Everywhere!
Kids have loads of ideas. Just watch them play, and you'll see just how creative they can be. After my girls watched the movie Wonder Park, they started building one of their own using hangers for swings, packaging materials for a roller coaster, dolls and other toys for the rest.
As much as kids enjoy playing imaginative games, it usually does not occur to them that their ideas can be turned in to something bigger, useful or lasting. It takes a little effort and persistence, but little ideas can grow in to coherent stories, books, projects, gadgets or even passions.
So Let's Help Them Grow
We can show our kids how to grow and develop their ideas. The process can be a lot of fun, and the results immensely fulfilling. The exercise builds confidence and self esteem. It makes kids eager to explore new ideas, and tinker with them until they snowball into something awesome! It is a practical way to teach them that good ideas coupled with effort and persistence can blossom in to something they had never imagined was in their reach.
Creating something out of thin air with just imagination and grit, is such a rewarding feeling, that it won't be long before your kids will be chasing another idea to fruition!
You can read about the fruit of our combined imagination and effort right here or download it below in a format of your choice. Do tell me about projects you have undertaken with your kids in the comments. I look forward to learning about them and perhaps trying similar ones with my own girls.