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Writing Short Stories For and About Your Child

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Writing short stories or letters to your children is a thoughtful and unique way to express your love and can be something you both look back on with a smile. A special story created just for them with their interests in mind can lead you in many different directions and spark creativity.

If your intention as a writer is to please one child, whom you know deeply, whose emotions are directly related to your story, you will approach your project differently. You are not seeking to create the next great children’s book, but rather an adventure to please, delight and nurture the special child in your life.

There are many children’s stories that were written simply to amuse and delight one child that have become classics, such as Stuart Little, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine.

You can even involve your child in the process by letting them choose the character's names (be sure to have the hero /heroine named after them), or develop the story line. You can tell your stories aloud during long car trips and see how they evolve or write them down to read at bedtime.

Mother and daughter sharing a story.

Mother and daughter sharing a story.

How to Write and Publish a Children's Picture Book: A Guide to Self-Publishing

Getting Started on Your Story

Start by sitting for a few minutes and reflecting on what you appreciate most about your child. Consider what they are struggling with in their life, what they dream of doing in the future and to whom they are most deeply connected.

Write down everything that comes to mind. Include a list of their hobbies, favorite events or holidays, vacations and friends names. When they are engaged in pretend play, what do they pretend to be? Where do they pretend to be? Who do they imagine is with them?

Do they have a favorite pet, stuffed animal or action figure that they might enjoy hearing a story about? Will your story have a message or moral? Will it be just for fun? Do you want your child to feel a certain way when they read it, like loved, accepted or inspired? Do you want your child to learn something from the story, have a good laugh or stretch their imagination?

Often, just coming up with a title can send you off and writing. Kids love having their name in the title. Here are a few quick ideas that could easily be expanded on, just insert your child’s name or his favorite toy’s identity:

  • Fluffy the Bunny’s Adventures on Maple Street
  • Jack’s Magic Train Ride
  • Kayla and The Garden Fairies
  • Sam Finds A Treasure Map
Enjoy sharing a story together.

Enjoy sharing a story together.

Encouraging Kids to be Creative

Additional Suggestions

  • If your child has a favorite picture book, rewrite it just for them and let them illustrate it.
  • Find a journal and write letters to your child. Review a day you spent together, either ordinary or special.
  • Keep a journal of their life, of how you feel about them, and what they have taught you. Your child will love to hear how their presence in your life has changed you for the better.
  • Tell them in a letter how they have impacted people around them. Include good things they have done for their brother, sister or friends.
  • Tell them what your hopes are for their future, for example: “I wish for you all the joy that you have brought me.” Please do not place large expectations on them in your letter or story!
  • Are you proud of your child? Write about it for them. Increase their confidence with your kind and encouraging words! This will also teach them to do the same.
  • Write a story about one of your childhood experiences, or an experience you wished you had.
  • Write an adventure story where the main character (named after your child gets to save the day.
  • Write a mystery for them to solve.
  • Write a letter or a year in review for them on their birthday, pointing out all of their wonderful accomplishments for the year. Include your favorite memories.
  • Write a story for an older child about what they were like when they were a toddler, or about their very first day of school, or about a funny or interesting thing they did as a young child. Be sure to use the story to lift them up, make them laugh and make them feel proud of themselves!
  • Write the story of when they met their first pet, how they named it and how you all felt about the new addition to the family. Add photos if you have them.

As a writer it is natural to want to write a story that everyone would enjoy. I encourage you to write for your children, even if children’s books are not your area of expertise. Let your child help you determine the story line. Let them illustrate the book. If you are inclined, you can always self publish it for fun and the joy of knowing that you created it together. Soon enough, they will know it by heart and recite it for you! Let your stories create more wonderful memories for you and your child to share.

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Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 12, 2014:

This is a wonderful hub. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing the ideas. Have a great day!

comory on November 27, 2011:

awww!!! that was so sweet to do somtging like that for kids nd i shoer i wnts to get on it and have fun well byyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Dchosen_01 on October 16, 2011:

Woow!~~~This is real and cool. Do you know that You can officially re-post your articles and even get paid on viewership and as well clicks on this site without any problems? I am a hubber but also there and I am experiencing its wonders and benefits, why not join under my referral and refer more people as well as re-publish your articles to boost your internet search ranking as well as have more options to earn?

You will not regret it I promise you!

andrebreynolds on September 07, 2011:

Great hub. Writing stories must be very fun and fascinating. Great topic here.

hsherry from Los Gatos, CA on June 10, 2011:

Great ideas! I love being creative and making a special gift for my child by writing a book is a terrific idea.

RTalloni on May 11, 2011:

Fabulous hub with great comments. Thanks so much.

Would like to link this to my children the hope of our future hub. If you have any objections please let me know. Thanks again.

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 28, 2010:

Thank you for the compliment Lita! I have really enjoyed writing for my children and I love all the feedback I've gotten from readers of this hub!

Lita C. Malicdem on May 20, 2010:

I found your hub as it appeared related in my latest post. This is a great article, long but not boring, as it clearly states wonderful tips to serious writers encouraging them to tap children's creative writing. Awesomely commendable hub!

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on December 10, 2009:

Thanks Elyse! My kids love when I let them get involved in choosing characters and deciding what comes next in the story. It's such a fun way to spend some creative quality time with your kids. Have fun!

Elyse Eaton on November 21, 2009:

I just finished two stories for my daughter tonight. She was thrilled that I let her pick out the names of the main characters and add a few "finishing touches" of her own. And then I read your hub. It's nice to know that I am at least on the right track!

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on September 08, 2009:

Thank you june, I'm glad you enjoyed this! Keep reading to your daughter before bed, she will always remember it fondly!

june688 on September 07, 2009:

I like kids and I often read stories to my kid before she gets sleep.

Very good hubs and Enjoy your time.

Welcome to my blogs and keep in touch.

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on January 07, 2009:

Hi Claudia, You should definitely write those storiess down! Your children will surely love them and you will have them for yourself as well!

Michelle, writing for children can be so fullfilling. They take in stories (as you know) with such enthusiasm and that magic twinkle in their eye. I hope you write more soon!

Thank you both for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on January 07, 2009:

Hi Amy, these are great ideas for writing stories for kids. I wrote a few stories and some poems LOL and well my friend Stella did the illustrations. We just printed it out and made a book of sorts for it. It is quite fun esp. if the kids enjoy the story. This is getting me excited again to write some more. :-) Thanks.

ClaudiaP from California on January 05, 2009:

Great ideea! I don't have kids yet but I have very nice memories from childhood. One thing we loved was the way my dad would tell us stories before going to sleep. Most of them were from his own childhood and we liked them so much that we had him tell them over and over again. I still remember those stories, but I wish I had them written down. Maybe I'll do that for my kids.

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on July 01, 2008:

gjcody, you are so welcome! I hope your granchildren enjoy this. :)

Hi Saralise, I think you will find writing for children you care about is easier than ever expected. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

Thank you both for reading and commenting. :)

saralise from United States on June 30, 2008:

Very inspiring hub, thanks! I don't have any kids of my own but I have friends with young kids and I teach a Sunday school class, so I have a great audience. I've never tried writing for children before, but I'm excited to try.

GJCody from Pittsburgh on June 30, 2008:

Just a great hub ...I love the ideas here ...thank you for sharing ..I am going to put this to work for my grandchildren.  They will love it.  My best to you!

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on June 22, 2008:

Hi Work-At-Home-Mom and Bernie, thank you both for reading and commenting! I am glad you enjoyed this and hope you will put it to good use! :)

BernieQuimpo from Philippines on June 22, 2008:

Thanks Amy Jane for suchn wonderful writing suggestions. I can't wait to do them for my granddaughter.

Work-At-Home-Mom from Boston MA on June 21, 2008:

great information here!

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on June 05, 2008:

Thank you so much Christine! I am so glad you enjoyed it. :)

christinekv on June 04, 2008:

Very inspiring and a beautiful idea indeed....absolutely precious! You are a super special woman Amy Jane.

There are some people in my life I will share this with too and hope it inspires them as well!

Bless you!

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 29, 2008:

Hi Froggy! Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it! :)

Thanks Minnie's Mom, for sharing this hub with your friends. :)

Minnie's Mom from Seattle, WA on May 29, 2008:

What a wonderful idea! This hub is going to be sent to lots of my friends. Thanks for the info.

Greg Boudonck from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong on May 29, 2008:

Wonderful hub amy jane!! Great Info

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 28, 2008:

Thanks Princessa! I hope you and your daughter create something wonderful together! It is really great when you can both enjoy a hobby together. :)

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on May 27, 2008:

A wonderful idea. I am sure my children are going to love it. My girl already likes writing stories herself and illustrating them. Maybe we can work toguther on the next one!

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 27, 2008:

You are welcome, Rob. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, glad you enjoyed it! :)

Rob Jundt from Midwest USA on May 26, 2008:

What a great idea. I might be a little late for the Thomas or Winnie the Pooh-type story, but I'm sure there's a tale lurking somewhere. A title such as "Thomas throws a two-seamer," would be close. Thanks for another excellent hub.

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 25, 2008:

Hi Neil, that is so wonderful that your grandchildren still remember that story. I think when you share something of yourself like that, it really has a lasting influence. Thank you for reading!

Thank you Mjoyce, I agree!

MJoyce on May 24, 2008:

it will be a great memento to your child .

proudgrandpa from Charlotte, NC on May 24, 2008:

Hello again Amy,

You already know that I love anything that plusses kids. This is a great way to do so many things. I really like the ideas for people who aren't particularily adept at creating things from scratch.

Years ago I put my two , now grown, grandkids to sleep one night by fulfilling their request that I make up a story for them. It was loosely based on the love their parents had for each other. They still remember that time 12 or 13 years later.

Thanks again. NEIL

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 24, 2008:

Hi Stooge, thank you so much for sharing my hub! :)

Bettiegurrl, I am so happy to hear that you are doing this with your daughter! Please keep me updated on how it turns out and I hope you both have a great time creating your masterpiece! :)

Hi Zsuzsy! How wonderful your project sounds! I am sure they will remember all the giggles and fun they had with you when they look back at the stories they created. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 24, 2008:

Hi Stooge, thank you so much for sharing my hub! :)

Bettiegurrl, I am so happy to hear that you are doing this with your daughter! Please keep me updated on how it turns out and I hope you both have a great time creating your masterpiece! :)

Hi Zsuzsy! How wonderful your project sounds! I am sure they will remember all the giggles and fun they had with you when they look back at the stories they created. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on May 23, 2008:

Amy! Again an excellent hub. My granddaughters and I are in the midst of writing our adventure land stories. It is so much fun to listen to them create and be silly. Some evenings we get more giggling done than writing. Then when I come back home and don't see them for a week or two I can still hear their laughter in my head. I recommend doing this with your children and grandkids...

love the great hub regards Zsuzsy

bettiegurrl from Portland, Or on May 23, 2008:

Amy, I couldn't resist. Today when she got home from school, we started a book. I looped together some yarn and punched holes in paper to make the binding, she's creating characters as I type. I know this was about parents making a book for their child but she wants to write so much and is loving it! I know I already told but seriously, awesome idea!

Stooge on May 23, 2008:

Amy, somehow I missed this hub the last time I checked your pages. This is a great hub and I have already shared it with some of my friends who are proud parents. Way to go.

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 23, 2008:

Thank you all for the comments and ideas!

Steph, I think your oldest is going to want to get in on the story writing with you. It would be cute to see what he comes up with for his siblings. :)

CJCS, that is a fantastic idea! Ideas are swarming me. You started in October to finish by Christmas? LOL! I will have to start NOW to finish by Christmas. :)

Hi Eileen, I am glad to hear that you are reconsidering writing for children. I don't agree that writing for children is the most difficult. I think getting it published just maybe! Children are so open and receptive to the imaginary world and I think it is so much fun to tap into that! I hope you get back to your short stories soon, but I certainly understand the hubpages distraction. :)

Hi BettieGurrl, thanks so much! I hope you and your daughter create something beautiful and have a great time in the process. :) Isn't it sweet how she wants to be like her mom?

Kelley, that is a heartbreaking story, for both your son and his friend. I think a creative story about friendship and how life can change things would be a wonderful gift for your son's friend and very therapeutic for your son.

Thank you for sharing the link also. :)

KelleyMari from Ohio on May 23, 2008:

Amy, this is brilliant - it's an especially good idea to do something like this as a child is working through some difficult life changes like a move, an illness, the death of a loved one or pet. My 5th grader has a child in his class that has been going through chemo for a brain tumor that was discovered the week after school started. He's been friends with this boy since kindergarten and seeing him go from a recess playground playmate to a boy confined to a wheelchair, bald, and without that boyhood energy has been difficult for him. I've talked with my son about this boy throughout this year, but this would be a tangible thing to do to help him process this issue. It would also be nice to make a copy for his sick friend.

One more thing, gives anyone the opportunity to publish their own stuff in a bookstore quality hardback book. You have nearly complete creative control.

Thanks again for the inspiration, Amy Jane!

bettiegurrl from Portland, Or on May 23, 2008:

Amy, this is a great article! I am a writer of fiction/non fiction and my daughter loves to create her own books. She gets a bunch of paper and "binds" them together any way she can, tape, stapler, string, whatever she can find. When I started taking a writing class, she wanted to do it with me. Unfortunately its an advanced class and shes only 9 so I can only teach her what Ive learned. But what great ideas you have here! I have put it off long enough, I think its time my girl and I sat down to create something amazing! Thanks!

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on May 22, 2008:

Amy, Oh what beautiful ideas to excite the creativity in all of us. I would never have thought of it. I love writing short stories, although since hubpages. That all stopped.

I did a writing course and was told that writing for children was the hardest form of writing so dismissed the idea altogether. This hub has given me another way of creating that idea. Thanks so much.

cjcs from Albuquerque, NM on May 22, 2008:

Great hub, Amy. I think one of the best presents I ever gave was an illustrated novelette that I hand-bound in a one-off hardcover edition (with paperbacks for all who wanted one). Everyone in the family was represented by a character in the story. I like to think I've written better, but nothing has ever been as personally rewarding or as well received.

Note to those who want to do this: plan ahead if it's meant to be for a specific event. For example, I started mine in October and finished the project about a week before Christmas.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on May 22, 2008:

Amy, what a wonderful Hub (again!) I wrote a story for my oldest son - he's now 10 - for Christmas one year, when he was about 5 or 6. I so enjoyed doing that for him and your Hub is giving me lots of great thoughts about new stories for the twins. I love all your ideas and insight. Steph

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 22, 2008:

HI Julie, I am not familiar with social stories, but they do sound very interesting. I can certainly see how they would be helpful to a child who is struggling with social issues. Thanks for sharing this, and for reading! :)

Hi Daniel, you are most welcome! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am sure your child will appreciate your efforts :)

danielpyle from USA on May 22, 2008:

Amy Jane,

Great hub. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time, but I am inspired to put my thoughts into action by using the ideas you have laid out here in this hub! Thanks as always.

Daniel Pyle

Julie A. Johnson from Duluth, MN on May 22, 2008:

Hey Amy Jane!

Nice hub, some very good ideas.

Have you heard of social stories? These are stories written by parents and/or therapists with children who have autism. The stories help the children develop social skills and understand feelings. Often these stories include photos of the child. For some children, these stories are very helpful.

amy jane (author) from Connecticut on May 22, 2008:

Thanks Dave! :)

Hi Solarshingles, I agree! Having quality time with your children that is creative and positive has many benefits for both parent and child. Working together on a non-stressful project makes great memories too. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

solarshingles from london on May 22, 2008:

Amy, what a wonderful idea and a hub, as well! Following your suggestion here could much increase creativity and imagination of any child...and so much more. It is about a real attention, exchange of opinions, quality & creative time spent together and not in front of the TV or computer games.

Dave Saunders from Washington, DC on May 22, 2008:

Great hub!

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