The next day we sat down at the computer together and made up a story. At this age, kids have so many stories in their heads but it's hard for them to write them out by hand. I love typing up stories my little ones tell me. I have many saved on my computer and the kids like reading them. Usually I would print them out and let the kids illustrate them by hand, but Joshua and I decided to use his camera this time instead.
After we had written the story, we got out his toys and set up the scenes for each page. We had a lot of fun working together to make the pictures look just right. He was in charge of the camera, and we talked about how best to take the picture, whether it should be from a distance or a close-up. Sometimes we had to take several to get it just right. I tried not to be bothered by crooked ones. Then I put the pictures on my computer and added them to his story. It took me a bit to figure out how to do the pages so that I could print on front and back and fold it and have them be in the right order, but finally got it figured out. Joshua loves his book and wanted to print lots of copies to share.
There are so many things you can teach your kids while writing a story together. While I typed up the story with Joshua we talked about the different parts of a story. We talked about when to use quotation marks, synonyms for when a word was being used too much, capitalization, and ending punctuation. When he didn't know what should happen next in the story, we would talk about possibilities and he would choose his favorite. It was a great project to do together and he told me he is already planning a book 2.
This would also be great to do with beginning readers. Children are more motivated to read a book they've created themselves. Make a book with words your begining reader can already recognize and some they are working on. They will love reading out loud to you a book they have created themselves.
Related to this idea, when my daughter was little she had 2 best friends move away. To help them remember each other, my friends and I made up stories for them to be the stars of, took pictures of our daughters, and made a book for each of them. My daughter still likes to look at hers and remember her friends, 6 years later.