During our Valentine’s date last night, my 10-year-old daughter called to tell me that she was bored and had nothing to do. My mother hated to hear us say we were bored — a sure sign of a lack of imagination — and I share the sentiment.

My husband told her to write a story, a story about a princess and a castle. Honestly, that was the end of it in my mind. I didn’t expect her to write a story, just get the hint that she needed to amuse herself and not interrupt our date night unnecessarily.

Later, she met us at the door, beaming, two small sheets of paper in her hand. This is what I read:

Once upon a time their was a girl named Grace. She was a princess. She was glorius. But she lived in a far away castel shaped as a pinguin. There was a yellow and purple Dragon. The dragon was for keeping the princess safe but thats not what he did. One day the dragon ate the princess and the dragon lived happally ever after… But then the dragon relized he didn’t eat the princess he ate the maid so the princess lived and killed the dragon and got married to a lush prince named Mullisk and they lived happaly ever after.

My husband and I were delighted!

Yes, there are spelling and punctuation mistakes, and misuse of vocabulary words (although maybe the world would be a happier place with a few more lush princes in it). It’s best to save those for another day and not squelch the creativity. Make a mental note of future spelling words, but don’t take the joy out of the act of writing a story by initially over-correcting it.

Our daughter was glowing with the laughter and high praise she received, and my husband asked her to please write more stories if she ever found herself with nothing to do. For a girl whose love language is “words of affirmation,” this was grand reward for her creative venture.

How do you encourage creativity in your children?

{Visit Love Notes at The Homeschool Post for another idea for encouraging your child to write while strengthening the bonds of communication between you.}

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