Day 23 | 30 Days to Transform Your Play
Today we are talking about something very simple but something which can really help to make your child’s thoughts, plans and ideas more visible; an Ideas Book.
An Ideas Book is different to keeping a diary. It is a book for sketching, planning and dreaming. It is a book for making lists, writing questions, documenting interesting findings and creating stories.
How often does your child come up with a great idea but it’s just not something you can work on at the moment? If you’re anything like here, lots! This is where the ideas book comes in.
How to Use an Ideas Book:
An ideas book is used to document your child’s thoughts, ideas and plans. This might include:
- designs for machines or inventions
- ideas for a short story or stage show
- patterns and designs for new clothes, dolls clothes, costumes
- ideas for new magic tricks for a magic show
- designs for a new cityscape
- designs for improved vehicles; spaceships, aeroplanes, submarines..
- garden designs for a new fairy garden, vegetable garden or gnomes’ home
- … the possibilities are limited only by your child’s imagination
When your child has a question…
Ask them what they think.
If it’s a question about how something works, ask them to first draw what they think. Your child can then use these drawings later to refine their ideas.
If it’s an idea for an invention or a machine your child can:
- draw a design of their idea
- write any questions that might have
- make a list of materials they might need – or draw pictures if they are pre-writers
If it’s an idea for a story or stage show your child can:
- design costumes
- design sets
- create characters
- glue in fabric scraps for future costumes
- draw a story board
Maybe they found an interesting feather on a walk, or saw an interesting building or tree which they wanted to know more about. They could:
- draw a picture from memory labelling any details they remember
- glue in a photo they might have taken
- tape in the small interesting treasure they found
All these wonderful plans and ideas that your child has can be investigated with an Ideas Book. They are documenting their thoughts and in keeping the book readily accessible, we are validating their ideas and encouraging them to pursue them more deeply; to wonder, to plan, to design and test, and to find answers.
An Ideas Book is also hugely beneficial to you, as a parent. Together, Jack and I use his ideas book to find books at the library, look up videos on Youtube, collect recyclables for inventions; it’s all there documented already in his own words and drawings.
- Pick up a visual diary for your child – I prefer A4 size (K-mart has some for about $4 each – Creativ brand with a black cover)
- Keep it in the playroom with some writing materials – make it visible and on hand
- Introduce it to your child as their special ideas book – different to their regular sketchbooks
- Encourage your child to draw their ideas and thoughts when they ask questions
- Reflect on their drawings and use that information to guide you when you are planning activities, explorations or field trips