Today I hosted a writing day for some adult writer friends and their children. The challenge was for me to create writing activities that would keep both adults and children engaged. In addition I also wanted to be able to join in myself and write.
There were five adults and five children. For the youngest children (aged 3 &4) I arranged some simple colouring and left them to play. The eldest three children were all six years old and impressed me with their standard of work. They created a fictional character using worksheets I designed and then made this character the hero of an adventure story. The end result was a handmade mini book with illustrations. We adults did exercises on the themes of obsessions, phobias and storytelling. Both adults and children got together to share their work; which for me was one of the most fun parts of the day.
In between writing the children did quizzes and plenty of running around the garden. The adults did lots of chatting about books and writing. Everyone did plenty of eating!! It was a fun albeit exhausting day for me. However, despite the commitment of playing host and leading the writing activities; I actually managed to write a piece that I feel could end up being the basis for my next book.
Whilst researching I found a couple of useful sites. A writing site with lots of tips and exercises that I did not get time to fully explore: http://fictionwriting.about.com . A site full of resources for children such as word searches, puzzles, colouring etc: www.abcteach.com . I also used a book called 'Get Writing' by Paul Johnson (ISBN 0-7136-7312-5) that has templates and instructions for making simple but effective books/booklets/cards.