This simple app from Literautas (a web company dedicated to writing resources) offers a near-endless stream of ideas for story writing. The interface is clean and minimalist: press "start" and the app generates the first prompt to start writing a story. Then, every minute (or the time specified in the app settings) the app hands down a new prompt, directing the writer to add specific ideas, words, characters, sentences, places or actions to the plot. The app is a spinoff of an all-ages version from the same publisher – in this case, the prompts are geared towards young writers, e.g. “Include this element: a chatterbox frog,” or “Have a character who: finds a dinosaur.” A fine breaker of writer’s block for children who struggle to create stories of their own. (Publisher/ Zoobean)
Prepare to use this app by using either of the following activities:
- My Special Notebook!Help instill a love of writing in your child by having them decorate a notebook or journal that will be used especially for writing (journal reflections, original creative stories, letters, etc.) and when using this app. They may want to glue special photographs or drawings onto it. Perhaps you want to create one, too. Spend time writing together as a family whenever time allows!
- Talk About It!What does your child like, or dislike, about writing? What about you? Just spend some time talking about any concerns, insecurities, or fears they may have around writing. If they are in a situation where they dislike writing more than they like it, take the time to boost their confidence and ease any concerns they might have. Doing so will help your child enjoy this app (and writing in general) as much as they possibly can!
Help your child get the most out this app experience by trying either of the following activities:
- Write On!Scaffold this app for your child by figuring out how long they will be able to write for and fixing the settings so that the app will be giving them adequate time to complete each writing task for their story. Decide how many steps you’ll want them to go through as well. The steps will go on forever, so adapt accordingly!
- Illustrate It!Have your child choose their absolute favorite scene of their story to draw a picture of. Encourage them to add as much color as possible and then describe the scene aloud to you. Extend this activity by having them draw as many scenes from their story as they like. Have them show the illustrations during the “Author’s Chair” activity (below), too!
Extend your child’s learning by using either of the following activities:
- Author’s Chair!Ask your child to decorate a chair in the kitchen or family room of your home (wherever a chair might be that they can use to read their story aloud to friends or family members) to be their special “Author’s Chair”. They can decorate it with their favorite things: posters they create, streamers, or any household items they think will make their chair look fun! Once they are ready, have them share their story aloud, practicing their fluency (reading with emotion and recognizing punctuation). Afterwards, ask the audience to provide feedback - anything they particularly liked about the story, or any questions they might have.
- Send A Special Letter!Help instill a love of writing in your child by creating a special writing area in your home, or your child’s room. Stock it with various colors of paper, pens or pencils, crayons, markers, stickers, a special journal, and so on. Add an item to this area of your home as often as you’d like. Start small and make a big deal about every item that is added to it. Encourage your child to write at least one letter a day to a friend, family member, teacher, or whoever they want to send one to, or who they feel may need a little cheering up or checking in on. Perhaps your child would rather reflect and write about their day in their special journal - great! Whatever they choose to write, praise them and encourage them to keep up the awesome writing! Extend this activity by teaching them the format of a friendly letter and how to address an envelope, etc.