On My Mind

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

Monday, January 9, 2012

Story Starter #5

In honor of today’s 67 degree weather here in Georgia, today’s story starter is about getting time outside…

You’ve been inside during Kindergarten, for what feels like the longest winter ever! The snow has been gone for weeks but it has been freezing, rainy, and just plain icky outside. Today is the first warm, sunny day since October. You glance longingly out the window and wait for your teacher to announce that it’s time for recess. “Time to go outside!” she calls. You leap off your circle on the carpet and run to your cubby. You grab your windbreaker and flop it on the ground so you can flip it up and pull it on all by yourself then jump in line behind the other kids. You can hardly control yourself but you follow the lines rules as your class heads down the hall and out the door. Outside! Kids race off in different directions. Some run to the swings, some to the jungle gym. Some kids are playing four square on the pavement. Others are just walking around in the grass. What will you do? Where will you go? Will you grab the hand of your best friend and run somewhere together?

To turn your thoughts into a story for children, ask some “What if” questions...
What if you go to get your best friend and she or he is already playing with someone else?

What if you really, really want to swing and they are all taken?

What if you trip while running to the jungle gym, scrape your knee, and have to go to the nurse’s office? (missing your first recess outside in a super long time)

What if someone shoved you in line and you shoved back? Both of you get a time out and have to miss recess. How do you feel?

Now write…don’t over think it. A lot of ideas may pop into your head. Pick one and see where it goes. It might just be a stream of thought or a memory. Whatever it is, ask some “What if” questions and figure out how a Kindergartener can solve the problem.

*Remember that a story for children is less powerful if an adult (the teacher or recess attendant) solves the problem for the child.

Follow my blog so that you don't miss any Story Starters and leave a comment to let me know what you think of this one.  - Thanks!

Happy writing!


  1. Another great prompt, Alison. I'm just going to move in over here. Can I have my own window seat with a view of the playground? :)

  2. We relocated to Georgia from Chicago last year. I am enjoying the Southern weather. This prompt is written with Chicago (or any other snowy winter location) in mind.

  3. My sister lives and teaches in Georgia...!