American Girl continues to keep up with modern trends in summer 2020. New dolls they debuted have pink, blue and purple hair! Does this new style inspire creativity in your children? Mine too! Featured today on Theresa’s Reviews, I’m sharing tips for getting your children involved in filmmaking and storytelling with their dolls.

To allow creativity to shine, I’ve been hard at work creating the curriculum for a fun virtual summer camp that empowers girls ages 7-10 as filmmakers and storytellers with their Truly Me American Girl Dolls. You can read about my summer camp that helps girl across the country connect here

You can join me for Truly Me American Girl Writing & Acting Camp Part 2 here! We will be further exploring storytelling and scriptwriting, composition and camera angles, stop motion, green screen, and editing in iMovie.

Since celebrating our uniqueness matters, I’m also giving away Truly Me #86 and #88 to two different lucky winners! Keep reading to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter. One of the entries is to watch, like, and subscribe to this video. It is the sample commercial and movie trailers my daughters created with their dolls, like your children can make in the camp.

Encouraging original storytelling

Creating an original idea can be one of the most challenging parts of storytelling! Before brainstorming, read some of the historical books to get an idea of the genre. These new hairstyles could inspire a fantasy/science fiction genre. Remember that the American Girl books stick closely to the historical fiction genre. You might want to do the same with your story, but embrace your creativity wherever it leads you!

Acting out stories with the dolls

Some creative writing topics to teach include dialogue, voice, descriptive words, and writing with the 5 senses. Since I most recently taught 2nd grade, I have some ideas on how parents can encourage these writing strategies in younger children. As your child plays with the dolls, give positive feedback like:

“Melody did a great job sharing her thoughts aloud with Rebecca! You came up with great ideas for dialogue – that means her ideas that she said out loud. If I would write those, I would put them in quotation marks that look like this.” (Show quotation marks on a whiteboard or notebook paper)

“Your Truly Me shared that she wants to travel to the moon? You gave her such a bold and courageous voice! Voice is when we learn more about a character by what she says and how she says it.”

“When Nanea asked for her hair clip, you described the color so well! Orange is a wonderful descriptive word!”

“Samantha’s dog made a beautiful barking sound to let her know it was happy to see her! If you were writing the sound, what letters could we use? How could we write it using sound words and hearing? As a writer, we write with all 5 senses like sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.”

If your child is older, you can challenge them more by encouraging them to write their story and share it out loud. Remember that it is their creative project, not yours. Feedback can share three or four positives that they really got right. If you mention something to work on, make it a simple and achievable goal to encourage confidence. As young writers get a bit older, they want to be heard, not to feel lectured or criticized.

Giving over the camera and editing for creative ownership

Today’s generation of girls have all been on camera much more than previous generations. Every time parents snap a photo, there’s pressure that it should be picture-perfect to go on Instagram or Facebook or a family blog.

However it matters that girls are taking creative ownership over technology. Allow them the opportunity to use the camera for taking a video, even it’s just recording on your phone. Show them basic editing on a program as simple as iMovie. With filming and editing, they can take ownership over their own creation. If you’re hesitant about helping them get started with this, these are skills I’m focusing on in my virtual American Girl summer camp. I’d love to have your children join me!

American Girl Truly Me Doll Giveaway

Enter to win either the Truly Me #86 doll or the Truly Me #88 doll! I will pick two winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more American Girl ideas and giveaways make sure to follow Theresa’s Reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Disclosure: I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.

42 Responses

  1. Bridgette

    I like the historical dolls! Thanks for the chance to win this doll!

  2. Sarah B

    Hi Theresa. My daughter’s favorite doll is Addy and mine are Kirsten and Felicity. We love their stories and historically accurate clothing. We especially love crafting for the dolls. Thank you for hosting. We love these colorful haired dolls so much!

  3. Ana Castle

    This is a great idea! I love how well you explain how to positively engage with children 🥰 I will try this and share it with other mothers and my neices and nephews ❤️

  4. Sarah B

    I commented on “ Depression-Era Chocolate Cake & Kit Kittredge American Girl Doll Giveaway,” (although, not entering that giveaway). I love this cake and make it several times a year.

  5. Elizabeth Callis

    My favorite doll is either Rebecca or Julie, I love the culture surrounding them and their time periods 🙂 I also commented on your post about your Truly Me Summer Camp!

  6. mami2jcn

    Maryellen Larkin is our favorite because of her cute 50s style.

  7. Suzanne Kane

    I really love all of the American Girl Dolls, I think Molly is my favorite but I am becoming a really big fan of the new color-haired dolls too!

  8. Suzanne Kane

    I commented on “Is ‘The Baby Sitters Club’ Appropriate for kids?

  9. NatureFairy38

    I like and collect all the different kinds of 18″ American Girl dolls.

    I also commented on the depression era chocolate cake recipe post.

  10. Shekinah Coulter

    Hi there I am Shekinah from @nzloveag on Instagram and wanted to say how wonderful and inspiring your message is. Awesome! Instant fan of your work! Thank you for the chance to get to know you better and this awesome giveaway. Thanks again. Lots of love from New Zealand x

  11. Angel Miller

    I have always loved Kits story so I would love to own her one day!!!

  12. GLBS

    I love the idea of film-making for young girls my daughter has a few American girl dolls and she has been involved this summer with her dolls in capturing poses. I did let her set up and insta account for the dollies- its @mydollspose please check out what she has done she is 8 and I think a class would really help her in her aspirations. I will be passing the info of the sites to her as well she would be so inspired by your lovely daughters! And I am following the sites to et addtl info on the fall classes!

  13. GLBS

    btw #86 is our abosulte fav doll- so pretty! And thanks again for getting the word out on your classes and workshops!!!

  14. Jo B

    Blaire is my fav AG doll, but I love the historical characters the most, especially Felicity!

  15. Jo B

    Blaire is my favourite!
    I’m not sure if my first comment went through, sorry if this is a repeat.

  16. Veronica

    Hi my name is Veronica and on instagram I’m @familiasd. I really enjoy watching your reviews. Samantha is my favorite American Girl Doll 😊

  17. mami2jcn

    I commented here–

  18. kathy Persons

    I am now 60 years old and I still have the doll my dad bought for me for Christmas When I was two. He died a week before Christmas so it is a treasure to me~

  19. Judi A Roode

    I have a Madame Alexander large Scarlet O’Hara doll that I want to give to my granddaughter.

  20. Elizabeth Miller

    My favorite American Girl was Saige. I think I just favored her because she resembled my daughter Paige so much.


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