COVID-19, writing and human ingenuity

At home with the children in a COVID-19 world? No library? No school?

Unleash their endless creativity!

Photo by Ben Wicks

On the wet weekends of my childhood, we would crawl under the dining table. With a huge sheet over the tabletop shielding us from the real world, and soft cushions beneath, we disappeared.

Our space became a pirate ship on stormy seas, a submarine, a moon colony, a bus or hospital or mountain cabin.

Add some books, pencils, paper and a snack or two and we were fine for hours.

Possibilities were infinite.

Photo courtesy Plush Design Studio

When we ran out of books, we made our own.

Photo courtesy Angela Litvin

The flip picture book, featuring a firefighter on one page, ballerina on another, then doctor, then chef, then scuba diver or clown, for example, was just as much fun to make as to read.

By slicing the book into three horizontally, we could see a scuba diver head with a ballerina torso wearing fire-fighting boots etc. Try it!

Like Little Women heroine Jo, we wrote and performed our own plays and puppet shows, and created cartoons, short stories and letters.

Photo courtesy Nadya Spetnitska

We began novels, though the sun usually came out before they were finished.

The Bronte sisters’ books and other writers’ childhood creations have spawned the literary specialty of juvenilia.

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk

Enjoy this time together making your own fun. What might your children create?

Human beings are the most creative and resilient species on Earth. If a post-COVID-19 world is different to the world we know, together, we can make it a better one!

The power is in our heads and hands, and our imaginations will help take us there.

Email me at to share your own ideas.


Follow me on Instagram @jakemanamber and Twitter @AmberJakeman

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