A lovely thing happened at our Easter holidays workshop this year.
A girl called Daisy arrived with her friend Lucy for their first Inkpots workshop and I couldn’t believe it when they walked in. Because Daisy (age 10) and I had met in 2016 – in fact we spent the best part of a morning together, and she was instrumental in the development of our fabulously popular cake story planner.
We had met at a Young Carer’s event organised by the local council. I was there to facilitate story writing activities. Lots of children stopped by for a little while and then moved on to another activity, some did a bit, went away and then came back to carry on.
But Daisy had found her happy place and didn’t move from the Inkpots table until lunch was served.
Our conversation over the course of the morning was one of those great ones that book lovers have. Daisy is a huge Harry Potter fan and we dissected characters, mulled over plots and made up some of our own magical stories.
I am not quite sure when we started talking about story planners but when we did, we were literally both on the same page. Cake features very largely at Inkpots, mainly because we like to celebrate achievements and have big get togethers. But we also have some fine bakers in our midst. So having a story planner in the shape of a slice of cake was something I had been vaguely thinking about and by the end of the morning, Daisy had drawn up the first design for one.
We have a very proud history at Inkpots of developing children’s ideas into products or designs. A really good example from our very early days is the Inkpots splat – this is used on all kinds of things like stickers and activity sheets, and was designed by a boy who came to our very first Inkpots group.
Over the weeks following the Young Carer’s event, I shared Daisy’s idea with other Inkpots children and then Jane, our graphic designer worked the idea up to become a clear and fun story planner. It has been used by our own children and downloaded by many more. It was particularly lovely to get positive feedback from several organisations for children with dyslexia.
But as I hadn’t seen Daisy since the Young Carer’s event, I hadn’t been able to share these exciting developments with her.
Usually, if a child has an idea that can be worked on, they are able to see it being worked on, through various stages until we have the finished product.
So meeting up with Daisy again was a really special moment. And the great thing is that she and Lucy had a brilliant time at the workshop. I heard that they were so fired up with ideas for stories that they had a sleepover to carry on writing.
Back in 2016, even if Daisy’s school had an Inkpots after school club, we are full up so I couldn’t offer her any further support. But now we can. In May this year, Inkpots Inc started. It’s our online club which offers a supportive, creative and fun environment for children age 8 – 11. More information is here: http://inkpots.org/membership-join/
Please do download the story planner too now you have heard the story behind it! Click HERE