• I love getting my kids and their imaginations churning. Sometimes I think that is one of the greatest joys of a parent. One of my favorite ways to do this is by giving them picture starters. These are along the same lines as a prompt for writing a story, but are completely visual instead. All you need to get started are art supplies including paper and coloring pencils or crayons, and a small picture.

    To find your picture you can search through magazines, mail circulars, or the Internet. Once you found a picture that you like, cut it down so it is only a portion of the original. Often I will use people’s heads with funny expressions, a pair of shoes, animals, and so on. You glue this picture to your piece of paper and have your kids finish what’s there. For example if you have a persons head, they can continue to draw their bodies, and the rest of the scene around them.

    Their amazing minds will come up with the most elaborate stories

    The most fun comes at the end when you have your kids explain their drawings. Their amazing minds will come up with the most elaborate stories. It may not happen at first, but once they get the hang of it, their imaginations cannot be stopped. Be creative in the things that you use for starters. Make them something unexpected, or unusual. Pick things that have texture patterns for older kids who can copy them.

    For a fun project, you can use pictures of family members. Start with a picture of grandma’s head. Your child finishes her clothes, and body, then comes up with a fantastic tale about what grandma was up to. Write down the story that went with the picture after your child is finished then give both the picture and story as a gift.