Last month, I hosted a challenge for writers. I invited them to create a story for children in 50 words or less. #50PreciousWords drew hundreds of participants. What amazed me was the incredible creativity that was unleashed by the restrictive word limit.
MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT!
One of the participants told me that she and her six-year old daughter had an amazing bonding experience. Seeing her mom writing, the little girl wanted to write a story also. And she did. And her mom shared it with me.
DINOSAUR SNOW by Bethany (age 6)
It snowed a lot through the day. Pteranodon and her sister Teethless were bored. Pteranodon said, “I planned to go outside and it’s almost time for lunch. Oh it’s 11:00. Let’s go wake Mom and Dad.” “You’re right,” said Teethless. So they did. And then they ate lunch.
Then my eight-year old grandson spent a day with me and he wanted to write one, too.
LOCKED OUT by Jeremy (age 8)
One evening, when me and my mom got home from school, we tried to unlock our door. We heard a snap. Our house key broke! We went to our neighbors for help. They said, “Get a ladder and climb into a window.” We followed their advice. Unlocked the door. Home!
Those two stories got me excited! I’m a retired kindergarten teacher. My debut picture book will launch next year. My book for parents and teachers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, recommends 100 picture books and provides hundered of activities to extend the reading experience. I’ve always been on a mission to help kids become lovers of books and reading. What a thrill if I could encourage them to become their own storytellers!
I decided to create a writing challenge for children!
An ALL-INCLUSIVE INTERNATIONAL ONE!
#50PreciousWordsforKids will coincide with Children’s Book Week, May 1-7. Every child in grades K-6 is invited to participate. Teachers will have each child write a story of 50 words or less…then the teacher and/or class will choose one story to submit. Parents who homeschool their children can submit one story per child.
Here are the guidelines.
I’m asking all of you who have connections with elementary schools or homeschooling families in any state and any country to please spread the word. Last month, I contacted the Children’s Book Council and they agree – it’s a perfect activity for Children’s Book Week.
The challenge runs May 1-7 and the stories need to be emailed to me: firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, May 7th. I’ll post those stories on Thursday, May 11th. Teachers and parents will receive a certificate that can be copied and personalized with the name of each child who participated. And there will be seven mini-Skype author classroom visits randomly awarded—one per grade.
I’m grateful to talented artist Vicky Fang who designed the perfect logo. And to Deborah Weed, Jennifer Petersen, and my daughter, Caroline, who all helped put the flyer together. It takes a village.
And it takes a village to help kids stretch and grow their imaginations.
I’m excited to read all of their precious words.
Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge…today’s theme is PLAINS.
The dictionary defines plains as: ‘A stretch of nearly level treeless country.
These snow-covered plains might have been the backyard of young Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote Little House on the Prairie. When I looked at this painting, I got the feeling that if I walked around the small stand of trees, I would stumble upon her little homestead.
I used to love watching the Little House television series. I’d had a crush on Michael Landon ever since high school when Bonanza aired, with Michael Landon starring as Little Joe. I remember trading hard-won information with my best friend, Jane…how tall he was, what color eyes…all the little tidbits we could discover from pouring over celebrity magazines…there were no computers or internet or Google searches in those days.
Those old reruns are still enjoyable…and provide valuable lessons that are timely and timeless. Here are three of those:
- Kids need routines
- Kids need rules
- Kids need responsibilities
Routines help everything run smoothly…like when to go to bed and when to do homework.
Rules help everyone know what is expected of them…like no phone calls or texting during dinner time.
Responsibilities help each person feel useful and valuable…like clearing the table or picking up toys.
A family is like a business that operates on love and teamwork and respect.
Watch some of these old shows if you can…you’ll see what I mean.
Back in the day of Little House on the Prairie and Ponderosa, there were no iPads, iPods or iPhones. Did you realize that all of those begin with the letter ‘I’? One of the biggest problems today is the disconnection between people. Years ago, reading, crafting and cooking were three activities that families did together. Today, many parents and kids go shopping together, eat dinner together or sit watching TV together in the same room, but each is busy texting or checking emails or twitter on their phones. If you’d like to bring back some family time, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking gives picture book recommendations, quick and easy craft projects and simple child-friendly recipes. Click this link to buy a copy! Engage your child, encourage creative expression and, most of all, have fun together
It’s the Year of the Snake!
- SUNDAY POST : Plains (jakesprinters.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Post: Focused Attention…Does Your Child Get Yours? (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Post: Simplicity…Children Need Less Stuff (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)