On My Mind

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Story Starter #6

Today’s story starter is about independence.

You're five years old. You and Mommy had lots of fun together all summer. Mommy has stayed at home with you as long as you can remember. Daddy goes to work almost every day. You and Mommy played at the water park and the playground, baked cookies, did scavenger hunts and made obstacle courses, read books, and giggled – a lot.

Today is your first day of Kindergarten at a big kid school (you have only been to preschool) and you get to take the bus. You and Mommy eat breakfast, grab your brand new backpack and your lunch box and head up the street to the bus stop. You are excited and scared. You feel like a big kid but you know that most of the other kids at your new school will be bigger than you are. You have been to the school once already to meet your teacher and see your classroom but Mommy was with you. Standing at the bus stop, you realize that there are no other kids getting on your bus at your stop. You squeeze Mommy’s hand. The bus lurches to a stop in front of you and the doors slide open. What do you do?

Do you confidently get on board and take a seat?

Do you grab Mommy and sob into her leg?

Do you turn and take off down the street toward your house?

Now to help turn it into a book for children, ask some “What if” questions:

What if you get on the bus and every seat already has someone sitting in it? Where do you sit?

What if you get on the bus and there are no other kids? (maybe you were the first stop)

What if the bus driver is scary looking?

What if you are tripped by a fifth grader as you walk down the aisle to find a seat?

What if you get on the bus, sit down, and realize that you and Mommy forgot something that you were supposed to bring?
Get creative. The first time on a bus can be a great experience or a miserable one. Are you independent and confident or soo scared that you think you might be sick? Do you make a new friend?

Now write. Have fun – let your hands type or write whatever flows from your creative mind.


  1. I wrote a first day of school story on my blog for a writer's platform challenge, but you've inspired me to try another one :)

  2. Will be printing these Starters off, they are great for helping the brain keep motivated. Thanks Alison.

  3. On my daughter's first day of kindergarten she missed the bus stop on the way home and had to go with on the whole route (an hour and a half) before they dropped her off at our house. Fortunately she's the kind of kid who just sat and talked to the bus driver and was totally fine. :)

  4. I haven't tried a first day at school story yet and your ideas have given me the oomph to give it a go!. Thanks.

  5. Nice little motivator when searching for a new idea. Great work!

  6. Thanks all. New experiences is a great place to find ideas for picture books. This one is full of firsts...First day of Kindergarten, first time taking the bus, first backpack, first day at a "big kid school",...

  7. Thanks for sharing Alison! I'm very motivated to write about a first day of school story now:)