DIY Action Figure Story – Writing For Kids

simple kid made book writing activity Getting my son to read is no problem but when it’s time to write or draw he’s not as interested. Part of the reason is his expectations are much higher than his actual writing and drawing ability which are right on par with his age. I often feel the same way. One way to combat this but to still get him creating his own stories is to use descriptive photographs. For this book my son and I decided to use his Playmobil figurines and Melissa & Doug Castle and use the camera to shoot pictures of the action. This let my son focus on the story and not the illustrating. Don’t get me wrong drawing is important but choosing a few goals at once when it’s something challenging helps achieve those goals instead of piling on the frustration.  This is not part of our learning after school series because this took us a good hour and that series of posts are devoted to short activities to do after school. However it’s a great weekend activity for school age kids. For more tips on writing books with kids check out this guest post from The Reading Mama.

Start by deciding what you are going to use for your photographs. Action figures work well because you can pose them but you can use anything!kid made book working on set up

Next decide on your story.Set up the shots and shoot! Each shot will be it’s own page in the story. kid made book with action figures

After shooting look through the photos and decide which to keep and which to ditch. Print each photo with plenty of space to write under it . action figure books for kids

Choose a title and make a cover. kid made book with action figures

Time to write but before you do go through the photos and have your child tell the story. This works as a mental first draft. kid made playmobil book

Let them write it but help if they ask. I have a firm belief in invented spelling and encourage my son to sound out the words and write them how they sound. I know it can be hard to see your child write something incorrectly but spelling is developmental and this will help them develop a firmer understanding than simply memorizing. Telling them how to spell a word here or there will not harm them at all but allowing them lots of opportunities to work on it is beneficial.

kids made playmobil writing activity

Read to someone special. He was so proud to read it to his dad. kid made action figure book reading with daddy


Writing like reading is a non negotiable. If your child isn’t into soccer or jazz dance it’s not going to hurt them in the long run but not liking reading and writing will. So finding ways to make it fun is worth the effort.

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  1. Angela F says

    I’ve got a sick first grader home today who was feverish, but now full of energy. Guess what we’re doing today while the three year old naps? Love this idea! And he’s going to be so excited.

  2. says

    This is so perfect. My eldest is only just starting to write and read a few words (he’s 3) but has started narrating his own stories more and more as we play and loves to take pictures – I think we could adjust this idea so that he has a little book of his own story to ‘read’ even if it’s mainly pictures to start with. Thank you 🙂

  3. Angela Cosby says

    Often young children (most often boys) are not fond of writing because of the amount of energy required to form the letters in each word—let alone an entire sentence. When my own son grew agitated with writing, I had him type his text on the computer. He still needed to listen for the sounds he needed in the words he wrote, but he didn’t get as discouraged.

  4. VALERIE says

    My son had visual processing and eye-hand coordination problems and was delayed in his fine motor development so writing by hand was extremely difficult for him. However, he was very advanced in his verbal development. So I let him dictate his stories on a tape recorder and I typed them up for him on the computer. I still have a collection of them which I cherish. He did do the illustrations by hand though. I wish I had thought of the photo idea. He is a young adult now, and thanks to computers he graduated from college and is very successful in his career.

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