By Bruce Van Patter

Creative writing web activities for kids, teachers and parents

Classroom-tested materials ready to download!

Read about my new assembly program on

Want to motivate young writers in your life?

This book
can help!

Learn how writing can
be fun for any child.

Find other creative writing helps at my store!

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I've been working hard to give kids and teachers activities to use to help with creative writing. If you've been to one of my workshops, you know creativity is fantastic fun! So, here is a line-up of fun things on my site. I'm up to over 300 pages, and adding more all the time. You'll find plenty of free activities and information on all kinds of things that are meant to get creative juices flowing. I'm now also starting to offer additional creative writing helps that can be purchased. Enjoy the site! And feel free to email me with your comments!

A quick list of
fun stuff

The Story Kitchen



What-if Genie

Creative Times

Drawings 2011

Drawings 2010

Drawings 2009

Drawings 2008

Drawings 2007

Drawings 2006

Drawings 2005

DaVinci's Doodles

Adventures in Graceland

Round Robin Stories

Wacky Headlines

Invent a World

Cloud Shapes

Seeing Double

Build a Hero

What Are They?


Food Art

Learn to Juggle!

Scavenger Hike

Town Treasure Hunt

Mythical Animals

Strange Inventions

Cartoon for You!

The Father of Limericks

Keep Kids Creative Week

See my artwork

Drawing from Nature

Odd museums

Strange ways people greet each other

Abe Lincoln's beard

Art monkeys

A painting of kids playing games

my books

For teachers:

The Sparker: my free, weekly email

Writing Stories from fortune cookies

Interesting dog faces for starting stories

Scrubwords: a game where kids invent their own words

Check out my

For parents:

my articles on creativity in families

Helping kids make up stories

Looking at paintings with kids

Using paintings to make up stories

Read some background on C.S. Lewis

Help your kids to create their own sea monster

Web Page Activity: The What-if Question Genie

This is my newest interactive page! My genie will conjure up crazy What-If questions to inspire your stories.
Teachers & Parents: these questions are fun for all ages, but the vocabulary could, at times, be a bit challenging for students to read on their own under 4th grade. All ages will enjoy the off-the-wall ideas!

Web Page Activity: The Story Kitchen

On this webpage, The Story Kitchen, strange tales get cooked up. And you get to be the chef. Just pick your hero, place and bad guy -- and see the story I've started for you to finish. There are nearly 50 of them! Each story has a drawing I've done for it and all can be printed out. Teachers: these are written for 4th or 5th grade students to read on their own, or be read aloud to students in 2nd or 3rd grades. I've received many story-endings from fifth grade students!

Web Page Activity: Mugshots

Mugshots are a great way to think through a character before starting your story. On this webpage, pick a face you like and click through to a simple form that will help you make a great main character!
Teachers: these are great for students 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade. You can print out the forms to use in class.

Web Page Activity: KidTales

In schools, I've drawn more than 700 line drawings to go with stories I've brainstormed with students.
On the webpage I call KidTales, you can use some of those drawings to start your own story -- then click to see what the original kid-made story was!
Teachers: use these with any grades.

Web Page Activity: Weird Headline Maker

Do you want a great story starter? How about over 100 million of them? Try my Weird Headline Maker, which will create random headlines for you. All you need to do, then, is imagine what story might have made the headline! The headlines are always crazy and many will make you laugh.

Teachers: these are good for students 2nd grade and up (some words might need explaining)

Watch me in action! Here's a page of short videos showing me drawing in front of live audiences!

A collection of essays explaining my creative approach to getting kids to enjoy writing.

See more!

Looking for creative writing lessons for your classroom? Here's my latest collection of original lessons --Sparks Year Two. A companion piece to Year One!

Adaptable for grades 1-8

37 step-by-step lessons based on quirky holidays, interesting birthdays and strange historical events.

Find out more!

Here's another great way to get kids writing! I've compiled the best of my drawings into books of picture prompts with worksheets to guide kids! Read more...


See how one teacher used my activity, Davinci's Doodles, to inspire her first graders to be amazingly creative!

My daughter, Grace, and I try out all kinds of creative things. This is my journal of our fun. Maybe some of these ideas will spark your imagination!

I have a page of tips for getting started drawing your own cartoon characters. You'll also find free cartoons to which you can print off to add your own words!

Other fun stuff:

More writing activities! Here are ideas that will kick-start writing with kids. They're written for families to do, but will work in the classroom, too:

Round Robin Stories
Wacky Headlines
Invent a World

"Seeing with your imagination" activities! These activities go along with another article I've written for parents. I think you'll get a kick out of them.

Cloud Shapes
What are they?
DaVinci's Doodles
IGYFT (for those of you who want the ultimate doodling challenge!)

There's a new holiday to help kids stay creative! Find out why I've started
Keep Kids Creative Week, held the last week in September. (And see a cool piece of animated type I made.)

Want to see some food art? This is another way I use my creativity in our family, though my wife thinks if I have time to play with lunchmeat, I have too much time on my hands.

Learn to juggle! These three pages will give you the basics. Hey, if this bear can do it, so can you!

Go on a Scavenger Hike or a Town Treasure Hunt! These are a great way to get outdoors as a family and learn to truly notice things.

More drawings! See a page of drawings I've created just this year in schools! (Or see the 187 drawings I drew during the last school year) Some of these drawings are bound to make you ask -- what is going in this picture?? Also, here's a page of my favorite drawings I've done in schools.

Odd animals! Here are some animals that lumberjacks have made up. There are many more I've discovered in old books -- I hope to post more soon.

Stars in your eyes? Here's help finding a few summer constellations -- plus my own funny versions!

Strange but true inventions! Here are some of the weirdest things ever given a patent by our government. I've drawn some of them for you, too.

Here's a list of some odd museums in our country.

Art Monkeys! See my beginning collection of monkeys in great paintings.

Fortune Cookie Stories? Here's how to bake up a good tale from using fortune cookies.

There sure are many strange ways to greet people across the world.

Would you like to watch silent comedies? Here's a guide to watching them with kids.

People are always asking me about my books. I've finally posted a page to highlight them.

There are famous creative people who I greatly admire. From time to time, I post a new page with my thoughts on one of these heroes of the imagination. Read about Edward Lear, C.S. Lewis, M.C. Escher and Norman Rockwell. I'll keep adding more as I have time.

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