Has your child ever asked you to tell them a story before bed, but they’re tired of hearing from the same books you read every week? It might just be time to get creative! Whether you’ve ever invented a story or not, these tips will help you become a storytelling pro.

Start with the characters. The main character can be anything or anyone your child identifies with. It can even be your child, just like how I included my son John in the Night Buddies books! Your kids will love hearing made-up scenarios that get their friends or pets into wacky situations, so be sure to fill the story with an entire cast of characters.

Pick a setting. Whether in outer space, your own neighborhood, or maybe even a far-off island, your story needs to happen somewhere. Are your characters trying to travel the world? Are they spending the day at the best amusement park in town? Ask your child what places they have in mind to get them involved!

Lead the characters into small, silly situations and conflicts. Are your characters explorers hunting for treasure? Are they detectives solving mysteries? Are your characters trying to lasso the moon? A good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning says who the story is about, where, and when it happened; the middle says what happened; and the end is how the conflict is resolved. The more conflict you have, the more entertaining the story!

Have you ever made up your own bedtime story to tell your kids? Let me know how it went in the comments!