My daughter is often stumped while presented with a blank sheet of paper, but she enjoys activities where she has to add her own creative touch to partially completed scenes or drawings. When Scholastic Express had Dollar Deals days, I downloaded for $1 a great book – Little Kids Draw. It has about a dozen different doodle pages before proceeding to “step-by-step” drawing instructions. Both Smarty and I had fun drawing a picture from this book. Interestingly, both of us independently chose to make an ailen. After Smarty's alien spent a few days on our display board, I convinced her to put it in a journal. I was inspired by Debbie at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn to resurrect journal writing with Smarty, and she was quite open to this idea once she realized that she won’t be required to do any actual writing. So here is her alien story, which she told me while racing around in a garden:
Once upon a time a boy named Fred was outside drawing. Suddenly he saw an alien, and an alien was moaning, “I am sick”. Suddenly an alien threw up. Fred wiped him up and said, “My name is Fred.” “My name is a Sicky Alien,” answered an alien, “because I get sick so often”. Suddenly an alien’s hair turned purple and he got rainbow stripes all over his body. “I need my mama and papa!” cried an alien. “They will take me to the doctor. But accidentally I ended up on Earth.” “That’s OK,” said Fred. He took some magic plants, mixed them with water, said some magic words and put them (I suppose plants, not words) in the bottle. Fred said, “Whenever you take a drink of this medicine, you will feel better.” They went to Fred’s home and an alien had water and wine for supper, and then Fred sent an alien home. “Where have you been for so long?” asked an alien’s mother. “We need to take you to the doctor”. But an alien said, “A kind boy from Earth already gave me special medicine. Now I am not going to be sick so often.” And his parents gave him a new name – Not-so-often-sick-alien-hero.
The story mostly just poured from Smarty, I actually needed to stop her a couple of times to be able to write it all down. Then I reread it to her and she corrected a few places. I like that it has a beginning, a middle and an end even though I had to prompt her to wrap up a story by telling her that I am running out of space on the page.