Writing Short Stories For and About Your Child

Writing short stories or letters to your children is a thoughtful and unique way to express your love and can be something you both look back on with a smile. A special story created just for them with their interests in mind can lead you in many different directions and spark creativity.

If your intention as a writer is to please one child, whom you know deeply, whose emotions are directly related to your story, you will approach your project differently. You are not seeking to create the next great children’s book, but rather an adventure to please, delight and nurture the special child in your life.

There are many children’s stories that were written simply to amuse and delight one child that have become classics, such as Stuart Little, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine.

You can even involve your child in the process by letting them choose the character's names (be sure to have the hero /heroine named after them), or develop the story line. You can tell your stories aloud during long car trips and see how they evolve or write them down to read at bedtime.

Mother and daughter sharing a story.
Mother and daughter sharing a story.

How to Write and Publish a Children's Picture Book: A Guide to Self-Publishing

Getting Started on Your Story

Start by sitting for a few minutes and reflecting on what you appreciate most about your child. Consider what they are struggling with in their life, what they dream of doing in the future and to whom they are most deeply connected.

Write down everything that comes to mind. Include a list of their hobbies, favorite events or holidays, vacations and friends names. When they are engaged in pretend play, what do they pretend to be? Where do they pretend to be? Who do they imagine is with them?

Do they have a favorite pet, stuffed animal or action figure that they might enjoy hearing a story about? Will your story have a message or moral? Will it be just for fun? Do you want your child to feel a certain way when they read it, like loved, accepted or inspired? Do you want your child to learn something from the story, have a good laugh or stretch their imagination?

Often, just coming up with a title can send you off and writing. Kids love having their name in the title. Here are a few quick ideas that could easily be expanded on, just insert your child’s name or his favorite toy’s identity:

  • Fluffy the Bunny’s Adventures on Maple Street
  • Jack’s Magic Train Ride
  • Kayla and The Garden Fairies
  • Sam Finds A Treasure Map

Enjoy sharing a story together.
Enjoy sharing a story together.

Encouraging Kids to be Creative

Additional Suggestions

  • If your child has a favorite picture book, rewrite it just for them and let them illustrate it.
  • Find a journal and write letters to your child. Review a day you spent together, either ordinary or special.
  • Keep a journal of their life, of how you feel about them, and what they have taught you. Your child will love to hear how their presence in your life has changed you for the better.
  • Tell them in a letter how they have impacted people around them. Include good things they have done for their brother, sister or friends.
  • Tell them what your hopes are for their future, for example: “I wish for you all the joy that you have brought me.” Please do not place large expectations on them in your letter or story!
  • Are you proud of your child? Write about it for them. Increase their confidence with your kind and encouraging words! This will also teach them to do the same.
  • Write a story about one of your childhood experiences, or an experience you wished you had.
  • Write an adventure story where the main character (named after your child gets to save the day.
  • Write a mystery for them to solve.
  • Write a letter or a year in review for them on their birthday, pointing out all of their wonderful accomplishments for the year. Include your favorite memories.
  • Write a story for an older child about what they were like when they were a toddler, or about their very first day of school, or about a funny or interesting thing they did as a young child. Be sure to use the story to lift them up, make them laugh and make them feel proud of themselves!
  • Write the story of when they met their first pet, how they named it and how you all felt about the new addition to the family. Add photos if you have them.

As a writer it is natural to want to write a story that everyone would enjoy. I encourage you to write for your children, even if children’s books are not your area of expertise. Let your child help you determine the story line. Let them illustrate the book. If you are inclined, you can always self publish it for fun and the joy of knowing that you created it together. Soon enough, they will know it by heart and recite it for you! Let your stories create more wonderful memories for you and your child to share.

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Dave Saunders profile image

Dave Saunders 8 years ago from Washington, DC

Great hub!


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Amy, what a wonderful idea and a hub, as well! Following your suggestion here could much increase creativity and imagination of any child...and so much more. It is about a real attention, exchange of opinions, quality & creative time spent together and not in front of the TV or computer games.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Dave! :)

Hi Solarshingles, I agree! Having quality time with your children that is creative and positive has many benefits for both parent and child. Working together on a non-stressful project makes great memories too. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN

Hey Amy Jane!

Nice hub, some very good ideas.

Have you heard of social stories? These are stories written by parents and/or therapists with children who have autism. The stories help the children develop social skills and understand feelings. Often these stories include photos of the child. For some children, these stories are very helpful.


danielpyle profile image

danielpyle 8 years ago from USA

Amy Jane,

Great hub. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time, but I am inspired to put my thoughts into action by using the ideas you have laid out here in this hub! Thanks as always.

Daniel Pyle


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

HI Julie, I am not familiar with social stories, but they do sound very interesting. I can certainly see how they would be helpful to a child who is struggling with social issues. Thanks for sharing this, and for reading! :)

Hi Daniel, you are most welcome! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am sure your child will appreciate your efforts :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Amy, what a wonderful Hub (again!) I wrote a story for my oldest son - he's now 10 - for Christmas one year, when he was about 5 or 6. I so enjoyed doing that for him and your Hub is giving me lots of great thoughts about new stories for the twins. I love all your ideas and insight. Steph


cjcs profile image

cjcs 8 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

Great hub, Amy. I think one of the best presents I ever gave was an illustrated novelette that I hand-bound in a one-off hardcover edition (with paperbacks for all who wanted one). Everyone in the family was represented by a character in the story. I like to think I've written better, but nothing has ever been as personally rewarding or as well received.

Note to those who want to do this: plan ahead if it's meant to be for a specific event. For example, I started mine in October and finished the project about a week before Christmas.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Amy, Oh what beautiful ideas to excite the creativity in all of us. I would never have thought of it. I love writing short stories, although since hubpages. That all stopped.

I did a writing course and was told that writing for children was the hardest form of writing so dismissed the idea altogether. This hub has given me another way of creating that idea. Thanks so much.


bettiegurrl profile image

bettiegurrl 8 years ago from Portland, Or

Amy, this is a great article! I am a writer of fiction/non fiction and my daughter loves to create her own books. She gets a bunch of paper and "binds" them together any way she can, tape, stapler, string, whatever she can find. When I started taking a writing class, she wanted to do it with me. Unfortunately its an advanced class and shes only 9 so I can only teach her what Ive learned. But what great ideas you have here! I have put it off long enough, I think its time my girl and I sat down to create something amazing! Thanks!


KelleyMari profile image

KelleyMari 8 years ago from Ohio

Amy, this is brilliant - it's an especially good idea to do something like this as a child is working through some difficult life changes like a move, an illness, the death of a loved one or pet. My 5th grader has a child in his class that has been going through chemo for a brain tumor that was discovered the week after school started. He's been friends with this boy since kindergarten and seeing him go from a recess playground playmate to a boy confined to a wheelchair, bald, and without that boyhood energy has been difficult for him. I've talked with my son about this boy throughout this year, but this would be a tangible thing to do to help him process this issue. It would also be nice to make a copy for his sick friend.

One more thing, www.blurb.com gives anyone the opportunity to publish their own stuff in a bookstore quality hardback book. You have nearly complete creative control.

Thanks again for the inspiration, Amy Jane!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you all for the comments and ideas!

Steph, I think your oldest is going to want to get in on the story writing with you. It would be cute to see what he comes up with for his siblings. :)

CJCS, that is a fantastic idea! Ideas are swarming me. You started in October to finish by Christmas? LOL! I will have to start NOW to finish by Christmas. :)

Hi Eileen, I am glad to hear that you are reconsidering writing for children. I don't agree that writing for children is the most difficult. I think getting it published just maybe! Children are so open and receptive to the imaginary world and I think it is so much fun to tap into that! I hope you get back to your short stories soon, but I certainly understand the hubpages distraction. :)

Hi BettieGurrl, thanks so much! I hope you and your daughter create something beautiful and have a great time in the process. :) Isn't it sweet how she wants to be like her mom?

Kelley, that is a heartbreaking story, for both your son and his friend. I think a creative story about friendship and how life can change things would be a wonderful gift for your son's friend and very therapeutic for your son.

Thank you for sharing the link also. :)


Stooge profile image

Stooge 8 years ago

Amy, somehow I missed this hub the last time I checked your pages. This is a great hub and I have already shared it with some of my friends who are proud parents. Way to go.


bettiegurrl profile image

bettiegurrl 8 years ago from Portland, Or

Amy, I couldn't resist. Today when she got home from school, we started a book. I looped together some yarn and punched holes in paper to make the binding, she's creating characters as I type. I know this was about parents making a book for their child but she wants to write so much and is loving it! I know I already told but seriously, awesome idea!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Amy! Again an excellent hub. My granddaughters and I are in the midst of writing our adventure land stories. It is so much fun to listen to them create and be silly. Some evenings we get more giggling done than writing. Then when I come back home and don't see them for a week or two I can still hear their laughter in my head. I recommend doing this with your children and grandkids...

love the great hub regards Zsuzsy


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Stooge, thank you so much for sharing my hub! :)

Bettiegurrl, I am so happy to hear that you are doing this with your daughter! Please keep me updated on how it turns out and I hope you both have a great time creating your masterpiece! :)

Hi Zsuzsy! How wonderful your project sounds! I am sure they will remember all the giggles and fun they had with you when they look back at the stories they created. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Stooge, thank you so much for sharing my hub! :)

Bettiegurrl, I am so happy to hear that you are doing this with your daughter! Please keep me updated on how it turns out and I hope you both have a great time creating your masterpiece! :)

Hi Zsuzsy! How wonderful your project sounds! I am sure they will remember all the giggles and fun they had with you when they look back at the stories they created. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)


proudgrandpa profile image

proudgrandpa 8 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Hello again Amy,

You already know that I love anything that plusses kids. This is a great way to do so many things. I really like the ideas for people who aren't particularily adept at creating things from scratch.

Years ago I put my two , now grown, grandkids to sleep one night by fulfilling their request that I make up a story for them. It was loosely based on the love their parents had for each other. They still remember that time 12 or 13 years later.

Thanks again. NEIL


MJoyce 8 years ago

it will be a great memento to your child .


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Neil, that is so wonderful that your grandchildren still remember that story. I think when you share something of yourself like that, it really has a lasting influence. Thank you for reading!

Thank you Mjoyce, I agree!


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

What a great idea. I might be a little late for the Thomas or Winnie the Pooh-type story, but I'm sure there's a tale lurking somewhere. A title such as "Thomas throws a two-seamer," would be close. Thanks for another excellent hub.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

You are welcome, Rob. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, glad you enjoyed it! :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

A wonderful idea. I am sure my children are going to love it. My girl already likes writing stories herself and illustrating them. Maybe we can work toguther on the next one!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Princessa! I hope you and your daughter create something wonderful together! It is really great when you can both enjoy a hobby together. :)


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 8 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

Wonderful hub amy jane!! Great Info


Minnie's Mom profile image

Minnie's Mom 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

What a wonderful idea! This hub is going to be sent to lots of my friends. Thanks for the info.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Froggy! Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it! :)

Thanks Minnie's Mom, for sharing this hub with your friends. :)


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington

Very inspiring and a beautiful idea indeed....absolutely precious! You are a super special woman Amy Jane.

There are some people in my life I will share this with too and hope it inspires them as well!

Bless you!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you so much Christine! I am so glad you enjoyed it. :)


Work-At-Home-Mom profile image

Work-At-Home-Mom 8 years ago from Boston MA

great information here!


BernieQuimpo profile image

BernieQuimpo 8 years ago from Philippines

Thanks Amy Jane for suchn wonderful writing suggestions. I can't wait to do them for my granddaughter.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Work-At-Home-Mom and Bernie, thank you both for reading and commenting! I am glad you enjoyed this and hope you will put it to good use! :)


gjcody profile image

gjcody 8 years ago

Just a great hub ...I love the ideas here ...thank you for sharing ..I am going to put this to work for my grandchildren.  They will love it.  My best to you!


saralise profile image

saralise 8 years ago from United States

Very inspiring hub, thanks! I don't have any kids of my own but I have friends with young kids and I teach a Sunday school class, so I have a great audience. I've never tried writing for children before, but I'm excited to try.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

gjcody, you are so welcome! I hope your granchildren enjoy this. :)

Hi Saralise, I think you will find writing for children you care about is easier than ever expected. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

Thank you both for reading and commenting. :)


ClaudiaP profile image

ClaudiaP 7 years ago from California

Great ideea! I don't have kids yet but I have very nice memories from childhood. One thing we loved was the way my dad would tell us stories before going to sleep. Most of them were from his own childhood and we liked them so much that we had him tell them over and over again. I still remember those stories, but I wish I had them written down. Maybe I'll do that for my kids.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Amy, these are great ideas for writing stories for kids. I wrote a few stories and some poems LOL and well my friend Stella did the illustrations. We just printed it out and made a book of sorts for it. It is quite fun esp. if the kids enjoy the story. This is getting me excited again to write some more. :-) Thanks.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Claudia, You should definitely write those storiess down! Your children will surely love them and you will have them for yourself as well!

Michelle, writing for children can be so fullfilling. They take in stories (as you know) with such enthusiasm and that magic twinkle in their eye. I hope you write more soon!

Thank you both for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub!


june688 profile image

june688 7 years ago

I like kids and I often read stories to my kid before she gets sleep.

Very good hubs and Enjoy your time.

Welcome to my blogs and keep in touch.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you june, I'm glad you enjoyed this! Keep reading to your daughter before bed, she will always remember it fondly!


Elyse Eaton profile image

Elyse Eaton 7 years ago

I just finished two stories for my daughter tonight. She was thrilled that I let her pick out the names of the main characters and add a few "finishing touches" of her own. And then I read your hub. It's nice to know that I am at least on the right track!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Elyse! My kids love when I let them get involved in choosing characters and deciding what comes next in the story. It's such a fun way to spend some creative quality time with your kids. Have fun!


Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago

I found your hub as it appeared related in my latest post. This is a great article, long but not boring, as it clearly states wonderful tips to serious writers encouraging them to tap children's creative writing. Awesomely commendable hub!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you for the compliment Lita! I have really enjoyed writing for my children and I love all the feedback I've gotten from readers of this hub!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Fabulous hub with great comments. Thanks so much.

Would like to link this to my children the hope of our future hub. If you have any objections please let me know. Thanks again.


hsherry profile image

hsherry 5 years ago from Los Gatos, CA

Great ideas! I love being creative and making a special gift for my child by writing a book is a terrific idea.


andrebreynolds profile image

andrebreynolds 5 years ago

Great hub. Writing stories must be very fun and fascinating. Great topic here.


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comory 5 years ago

awww!!! that was so sweet to do somtging like that for kids nd i shoer i wnts to get on it and have fun well byyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

This is a wonderful hub. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing the ideas. Have a great day!

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