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Sometimes I get stuck trying to figure out what to blog about. I just can’t seem to find the inspiration I need.
When that happens, I do something different than many bloggers. I ask my kids for help.
You see, kids are full of great ideas! They’re imagination works almost non-stop, and they aren’t stuck in the same rut that adults tend to get trapped in.
That’s why I love working with my kids to brainstorm post ideas.
Of course it helps that I write about family friendly topics. If you don’t, you probably won’t want to use this method!
Here’s what it looks like when I call for a Family Brainstorming Session.
What Brainstorming Post Ideas with Kids Looks Like
When I’m in need of post ideas, or details for a post, I gather my kids around. Everyone gets equipped with paper and pencils, and we set out our family crayon bucket.
My younger kids draw better than they can write, so this helps everyone get involved.
But, before I turn them loose to start generating ideas, I take a few minutes to prep them. After all, I don’t just want any old blog post idea. I want ones that will work on my sites!
So, we spend a couple of minutes talking about my needs and some basic big pictures topics I cover. If I’m looking for blog post ideas for this blog, we talk about how I’m able to work from home, and ways that we all pitch in to make it happen.
If I need blog post ideas for my homeschooling blog, we talk about their favorite subjects, games they enjoy, and any other bits of large family life, learning, and love.
Sometimes I need help for a client post. If that’s the case, we talk briefly about what kind of content the client is looking for.
I ask my kids what they know about or think about the topics we just talked about. This brief conversation (five minutes MAX, and usually just two or three…) is just to get their minds running.
It provides a bit of context for them, and helps them stay on topic.
Once we have some basic high-level topics in mind, we start the individual brainstorming part.
The Family Brainstorming Session
I ask them to write or draw anything those words make them think of. What they do next really varies on their ages and abilities.
My youngest kids draw pictures. Sometimes they have nothing to do with the topic at hand.
My middles usually do a combination of writing and pictures.
And my oldest typically just writes. She also turns to the computer sometimes to see if she can find anything else related that really inspires her.
I’m brainstorming right along with my kids. I typically type my list up, because if I just write it down somewhere, I know I’m going to lose it!
We work on our individual brainstorms for about ten minutes. If I remember, I set a timer. If not, I just keep an eye on everyone and call it quits when most are done.
Then we come back together and share what we thought of.
My kids love sharing what they wrote or drew. It’s a time to show off their work and have everyone’s attention. So don’t skip this part!
I have each of my kids take a turn standing up and reading their list or sharing their drawings. As I’m listening, I’m taking notes, quickly jotting down key words or phrases that they say. Otherwise I may not remember later what that picture was supposed to be…
If you’re having share time after a family brainstorming session, make sure you share what you came up with too. You want to stress that you’re a team working together, and leading by example is a great way to do that.
How It All Works
Here’s how a recent Family Brainstorm Session in my house happened.
I’ve been sharing car games for kids posts on my other blog. I really wanted to get some new perspective and see if I’d missed any of our favorite games. I also wanted to see if my kids had any ideas for new car friendly activities.
We love playing games in the car, and since we’re gearing up to travel more on deputation, I wanted to find some new ideas.
So we all gathered together in the living room with our supplies. I sat at the dining room table with my computer. My oldest sat across from me with hers, and a piece of paper.
The younger kids sat on the couch, the floor, or in chairs nearby. They all had their pencil boxes and paper.
To start us off, I asked my kids to think about car games for a brainstorming session. We talked about two of our all-time favorite games. Then I asked them to think about any other car games they love or want to try.
I set the timer for ten minutes and turned them free. During this time, I worked on my own list of ideas so I had something to share when the timer beeped.
Once the time was up, we took turns sharing. We started with the youngest participating member, and moved up. The youngest kids shared pictures they drew.
My two-year-old’s picture didn’t have much to do with the topic. There were some circles, so I’ll assume they are car wheels. 😀
As we went up in age, the ideas got more and more useful. But, I know there’s huge benefits to starting kids brainstorming early. And it’s fun to see what the littlest ones draw.
As the kids shared, I wrote down ideas. I just added them to my list so they’re all on the same spot – and not on paper.
Here’s what my list looked like when we were done. You’ll notice there aren’t complete sentences or any fleshing out here.
They’re all just simple notes, jotted down to spark an inspiration when I’m wondering what to blog about.
Car Game Brainstorming Ideas
- Guess the song
- Take turns picking songs to sing
- One word (or sentence) at a time story
- A-Z (any category)
- Category game
- I Spy
- A-Z letter find
- 0-9 number find
- Shape hunt
- Whistle a tune
- Guess who I’m thinking of
- Theme song list
- First letter/last letter
- A my name is…
- What movie is this line from?
- What songs have the word ____?
- Look for the color ___
- Nature inspired story
- Packing for Grandmother’s House
- License plates
- Make up a silly sentence based on the license plate letters/numbers
The pictures were great! They all worked hard on their lists and enjoyed working with me.
They know that when they help me with my business, they help move our family closer to our goals. Being a team is essential when you’re working from home with kids.
And now that our family brainstorming session is over, I have a whole bunch of ideas for future posts. It makes life so much easier!
Brainstorm Sessions on the Road
One thing I love about brainstorming is you can do it anywhere! As long as you have a scribe (so thankful for my teenager!) you can start brainstorming in the car. It keeps everyone engaged.
We don’t draw pictures in the car, but everyone takes turns telling the scribe their ideas. Then I turn those into my idea list when I have some time.
Sometimes my kids need a bit of help getting started. If that’s the case, I ask a few more open-ended questions to help get their brain going.
- What topics would relate to this category?
- What is your favorite thing about this?
- Is there anything you don’t like? Why?
- Can you think of a new way to do this?
The questions just sort of help move things along. Of course, when I throw in a category and specific information, it sounds better. So I might say, is there anything you don’t like about playing games in the car? Why?
Or for another post, what is your favorite thing about raising animals on the farm?
I will say, the kids have never let me down!
Even if I can’t use an idea exactly the same how they worded it, a family brainstorming session always gets my brain thinking. They help me break through my rut.
It’s amazing how much bouncing ideas off of each other can help!
I’m also teaching my kids that doing a prewrite is helpful. It pays off big time to put a little planning time in before diving into a project. We’re also expanding vocabulary and learning about new topics.
Tips for a Successful Family Brainstorming Session
Here are a few more tips to help your first family brainstorming session go smoothly:
- Don’t evaluate ideas – everyone’s idea can be shared
- No using words like “stupid” – basically be kind!
- Don’t force kids to use a particular medium – let them decide if they want to write or draw or type
- Be prepared for the session. Have plenty of paper, crayons, and a timer
- Praise your kids for their efforts. Thank them for working together with you.
- If you use their ideas on your blog, tell them! Show them the final product.
- Your attitude matters. If they think you don’t care what they come up with, they’ll stop trying.
Your kids really can be an asset to your business and blog as a mompreneur. They are capable of so much!
For more ideas on working together with your family, check out my course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. It contains over 30 lessons designed to help you build a solid foundation upon which to grow your business, with your kids at your side.
Have you ever brainstormed with your kids?
I’d love to hear how it went. If not, do you think you’ll give it a try?
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.