Sunday, December 6, 2009

Recipe for Outdoor Writing Fun

Today we have two guests on The Motherhood Muse blog! First we hear from Cara Davies of "Write from the Start" ( Then Paige Hilfer of "Magic Lantern" shares with us a new insight into hope for our children!

Recipe for Outdoor Writing Fun By Cara Davies

This is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy nature while having some fun writing at the same time. It is recommended for all ages!

Here’s what you need:

Comfy Clothing
Block of uninterrupted time
A good imagination
Paper – any shape, any size
All kinds of writing tools – crayons, pencils, markers

Here’s what you do:

1. Get outside – Whether you live in an urban or rural setting, nature is right outside your door. Pick a place that you would enjoy spending some time. It might be your own backyard or the park down the street.

2. Set up your writing station – Gather your materials in one spot and get comfortable.

3. Use your senses – Stop. Be still. Take in the world around you. There is no doubt that you will find many writing inspirations.

Ask yourself and your child these questions:

What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you feel?
What do you smell?
What do you taste?

When answering these questions, use as many description words as possible.

4. Be flexible - You may only get to answer one question and then take off writing a story about the ladybug on the leaf. That’s okay. Many times all it takes is one spark to ignite the inspiration for a fabulous story.

5. Commit to doing this activity again- Before you know it you will be writing and journaling on a regular basis!

Paige of "Magic Lantern" shares with us a personal story about children and writing...

Sometimes we tend to give up if our child doesn’t immediately take to writing or if they give the all too familiar deep sigh when we pull out the journal or paper and pencil. Here’s a short story about my own experience…

I've been giving Sam, my 8 year old son, the small black journal in the Journal Writing kit to take with him every time we go camping, on a vacation, hiking, or on other short trips. For a year I've "made him" fill at least one page with writing on each trip. He could write sentences, bullet points from the trip, or just fill it with word after word that just related to the trip. It's been a laborious task for both of us for a year. But, coming home from Gunnison several weeks ago, during our 4 hour drive (yes, I forced him to pack the journal in his backpack with snacks and books for the trip), he actually came to me after the trip and said, "look what I did" - he had written 3 full pages about the trip. I didn't even make him do it this time. He just picked it up and did it! It was a whole year of consistently placing value on this activity (for me), not killing him over it, but giving a slight kick in the pants each time, to finally get him to take on that activity on his own. I think parents need to know that it may not happen the first time - especially for boys. And, that with practice, it just becomes a habit for them, just like anything.

To learn more about lighting the path to literacy, please go to Magic Lantern. ( Her site offers many fantastic options for encouraging children to write and to engage in nature!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prize Bag of Boutique Items

Thank you to all of you who have signed up for The Motherhood Muse newsletter! You will all receive the first issue of the magazine free when it is published digitally in January.

I used to pick a number from the list of newsletter subscribers and J. Wilson-Pines is the winner of a bag of boutique items from The Motherhood Muse. Congratulations J. Wilson-Pines! I sent you an email asking for your mailing address.

Thanks again to everyone who has signed up. If you haven't done so yet, please do! On January 1st I will choose one more winner to receive a free one-year subscription of The Motherhood Muse literary magazine!