On My Mind

-thoughts of a wife, mom, author, illustrator, juggler, toy designer, teacher, camp director, ...



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Story Starter #10: Playdate


This story starter gives you a little freedom in choosing the age of your main character. She or he can be 3, 4, 5, 6 – whatever works better for you.

Imagine that you are at your first playdate – well, specifically, the first one without Mommy, Daddy, or any other adult that is important to you with you. You are thrilled. You get to play with new toys (new to you); in a house or yard that isn’t your house or yard, and hang out with different pets. This is all very exciting to you.

Now to turn this fun afternoon into a picture book, let’s add some conflict by asking “What if” questions…


What if their pet is a BIG dog, hairless cat, iguana, screechy bird, snake, or some other pet that is super scary? How do you handle it?

What if your friend won’t share his or her toys? Won’t let go of the video game remote? Grabs every toy you pick up and says, “Hey! That’s MINE!”

What if your friend’s mom calls, “Snack time!” and when you run into the kitchen you see ____________ that you either have never eaten before or have eaten and think that it is totally gross?

What if you do some arts and crafts and accidentally spill the glue or glitter, or both on their floor?

What if your friend wants to play house, dolly, kitchen, tea party, robot, cars and trucks or anything else that you are not in the mood to play?


What if you just really, really want to go home and are afraid to ask the other mom to call your mom? What will you do?

Many kids go to playdates or are part of playgroups from the time they are babies but a parent or grandparent always goes with them. The first time that a child heads to a friend’s house on their own can be exciting and scary. Pretend this is your first time and see through a child’s eyes as you walk into the house. Maybe you see that it’s messy or super tidy. Maybe it smells funny, or smells delicious. Maybe a pet knocks you down and licks your cheek before you can even get in the doorway. Will you do things that you know your own mom would not allow just because your friend’s mom says it’s okay? How will you act or react to new situations?

Now that I have filled your head with ideas – let them spill onto the page and write…

 Post a comment below and let me know what you think of this Story Starter. If you want to see more Story Starters, click on the links on the right side of this page or Join so you don't miss future posts.

7 comments:

  1. What a fun exercise. I can see how this would make a fun PB.

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  2. Another great story starter! Thanks, Alison :)

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  3. Oooh, all these "what ifs" certainly get my brain turning over... there are a lot of familiar feelings there.

    I want to let you know that I've awarded you with a Liebster Blog Award -- for details, check out this post on my blog today, Saturday, Feb. 4. http://www.bethstilborn.com/blog-love-times-four-another-liebster-more-great-blogs/

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    1. Ooh, thanks, Beth! I'll head over to your fabulous blog and check it out!

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  4. Enjoy your blog Allison. Congrats on receiving the Liebster Blog Award.

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