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Writing: Ideas

Coming Up With New Ideas


Today's Snack: Here's a new way to get delicious, nutritious nuts into children's diet. Make chocolate trail mix!

First, mix 3 C. of nuts (peanuts, raw almonds and pecans are great), C. sunflower seeds (shelled), C. coconut, 1 C. raisins, and C. dried cranberries or cherries.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Put nut mixture on it.

Melt 1 C. semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave. Pour in a skinny ribbon over all the nut mixture.

With a big wooden spoon, gently stir to coat as much as you can. Then let chocolate cool. It will harden.

Break the mix into small pieces. Pack in zip-lock bags. Serves 12.



The best way to get new ideas is to play with ideas! Here are some ways to get into the habit of being playful and creative about words and ideas:



Read, especially classic children's stories, Greek myths, Aesop's fables and fairy tales. Think about how what's going on in those stories is similar to what's going on in our world today. What is the last book you read for fun? What is a connection between something in that book, and something going on in the real world?



Be alone at least one half-hour a day. It might help to set up one corner of your room or one place in your home that everyone knows is your "Creativity Corner" and they're not supposed to disturb you when you're there. How much are you alone every day? How do you usually spend your "alone" time? How else could you spend it?



Choose a word that interests you, and look it up in the dictionary, Google it, check a thesaurus, see what the encyclopedia might say about it, find a map that includes it, look for famous quotes that include it. Illustrate it with colored pencil. Write a poem with it.



Write a book. Why not? Write a short chapter every night in your notebook. Start now, with the title and an overview:



Lists are inspiring. Become a champion list-maker. Keep a file with all kinds of lists: your favorite sports, favorite pet names, foods you like, places you want to go. You can even make a list of the lists you'd like to make!



Collect words you like to say aloud, and read up on them in the dictionary and encyclopedia. "Lollapalooza." "Bok choy." "Jeepers." Keep a list of words you love to say (see the tip about lists, above).



Combine words in ways you don't think anybody else has ever combined them, in the history of the world. Example: "intergalactic cheeseburger-maker." Keep a list and try to add to it every day.



Invent new things using rhyming. For example, a cucumber kind of looks like a missile. So invent a "cuke nuke." What else?



Pick a famous quotation, and rewrite it in your own slang: "To thine own self, be true" can become "B U."


By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2010






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