Raising Imaginative Kids: Lily Writes a Story


Four-year-old Lily has always had an incredible imagination, developing complex plots for her characters. Most of the time, I catch snippets of conversations as she moves her little people or animals around, or as she and Emma and Johnny role play. She had scribbled in this notebook for weeks, but one day I realized that it was all part of an ongoing story about Sally (who often appears alongside my children’s favorite imaginary friend, Connie, although not as frequently as Connie’s sidekick, the oh-so-aptly-named Nowun (pronounced No-one). Lily is capable of reading a little, and writing some as well, but it’s hard and I’m guessing that is why she is using the same cursive-like scribble that she has used for writing for a couple years now. I love that seven-year-old Emma valued Lily’s story enough to offer to sit down and write it out for her so that we would have it once Lily forgets how to “read” her scribbles!

Sally isn’t imaginary, though – she is Lily’s alter-ego when the kids role play. Johnny often pretends to be Jack, and Emma pretends to be Sarah, who you will also see in this story. Lily reads her story out loud to us, now, and the paper above is what Emma wrote as Lily “read” aloud. I got a clip of her reading a different part (chapter?) of her story out loud to Mike:




Obviously, storytelling is something Lily has a knack for and enjoys. Storytelling is also highly valued in our home, and a part of our daily life. I think that storytelling helps people learn how to process events and put feelings into words. It’s also a fantastic low-risk environment for exploring new ideas!

Do your kids make up stories? Did you as a kid? I love getting glimpses into my children’s imaginative worlds – through art, writing, and simply watching them play!


  1. says

    We love storytelling and I adore this post!! All of it – the story Lily wrote, that Emma transcribed it for her and that Anna clearly loved it too!


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