Children are collectors.
Collectors of souvenirs — shells from the beach, sparkly rocks, leaves and sticks from the park. Collectors of living things — bugs, tadpoles, minnows, flowers. Collectors of sets — Shopkins, Beanie Babies, Legos, Pokemon cards. Collectors of found objects — keys, buttons, anything that’s shiny. Then there are kids who collect everything — caps, drawings, string.
Children collect treasures.
Ideas for writing, on the other hand, aren’t so easy for kids to collect.
- Ideas aren’t tangible, which we know our little ones need.
- Idea generation is a cognitive process, so kids don’t hear it unless we voice it.
- More emphasis is typically placed on retrieving ideas. If we don’t devote time to storing ideas, it can be difficult for kids to pull experiences from memory.
By the time kids get to third grade and get their first writer’s notebook, they are expected to collect seeds for writing independently. The notebook becomes a tool for living a writerly life.