Word Jars, Fairy Lights & Postcards From The Moon

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When I was younger, I loved nothing more than writing stories. I would scribble my ideas down in pencil and eagerly act them out with my younger sister for hours.

She was the cat, I was the princess, and my mum, who was always inevitably dragged into our games, was the witch.

Assisting at the Hands on Humanities Writing Workshops for Children naturally took me straight back to my childhood.

A room filled with glittering coloured lights, balloons, plenty of paper, and gel pens – all in place for the excited children who bustled into the room.

One of my favourite tasks of the day was helping them write postcards from weird and wonderful places.

For inspiration, we had word jars that would tell them the location that they would be writing their letters from.

And it could be anywhere.

From the stars, from a chocolate factory, or from the inside of a cheese string. The jar was full of bizarre, exciting places.

The second jar would tell them what they were doing. Driving, shouting, giggling.

The rest was up to them and it was lovely to see how hard they were trying. We had some truly brilliant, funny and quirky entries.

Someone wrote their postcard whilst woodworking from the top of Mount Everest – they wanted to make skies that would help them sail down to the bottom!

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We also had a slightly more challenging writing task –  telling a story, based on a variety of pictures that we had scattered on the table, with a limit of just 6 words.

Inspired by Ernest Hemmingway’s claim that 6 words are all that you need.

For Sale: Baby Shoes, never Worn

He made it sound easy.

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As the day reached the end, it was uplifting to see our post-card board and 6-word story table filled with small pieces of paper, writing that filled the edges of the pages and showed the imagination of the next generation.

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