My son will be 3 in July. His imagination is running wild. I love it but it is tough to keep up with his stories, imagination and storytelling.Honestly, storytelling is not something that comes easy to me. I have always had to work at telling stories. I thank my son for motivating me to become a better storyteller.
We truly enjoy reading in our home but I have learned that storytelling is so important in a child's development even beyond early literacy. Storytelling triggers extremely valuable high level literacy skills such as comprehension and, perhaps more importantly, open ended learning and development. I love this post on Mommy Labs on the importance of storytelling. In any event, here are a few ways we've integrated imaginary play and storytelling into our home.
Storytelling for Children & Parents
We love them, play them in our home and in the car non-stop. Audible.com and our local library for cds are our one stop shop for these experiences. At home one thing I've tried to do is act out the story with my boy. Seriously tons of fun! One of my favorites is Blueberries for Sal and Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel. Plus every Magic School Bus book that exists.
We love trains. This train table is where the story telling all started for us. I typically leave my son alone to create his own stories by playing independently using ‘private speech.'
My son and I have gotten into the habit of telling stories together. He will say a sentence like, ‘why hello there octopus. It is nice to meet you. Said the crab,' and I will say, ‘did you see those snorkelers today? I thought they were going to hug Mr. Sea turtle! Said the crab.' Easy.
One very spontaneous story telling activity we've done recently happened when we were doing our day of the week and weather chart. We downloaded these weather cards for FREE from Montessori Print Shop. One particular day, as my was searching for the ‘rainy' card, he started to place each weather card on the magnetic board and began to tell stories with the weather card. It was awesome . Weather is dramatic. Weather I can do. We told stories about a hail storm followed by a beautiful rainbow on a cool winter day. Lovely. Heart melts lovely.
We “Buddy Read”, a commonly used early literacy approach within Tools of the Mind. I'll read a book and he'll ‘read' a book. Then I'll ask him to read a book to me.
What do you see?
When we're jumping from raft to raft (pillow to pillow) in the middle of the sea (living room rug), we ask one another “what do you see?” Often my son will answer with one word like “Octopus!” So I'll ask what the octopus is doing, and then when he asks me “What do you see, Mama?” I'll be more descriptive and dramatic, holding up my binoculars and exclaiming I see a pirate ship with a skull flag and sharks lurking all around it. You get it.
Our Own Song Lyrics
My son loves to make up songs on his own but also use the tune of a well known song and change up the lyrics. For example with “Down By The Station” he might say, “Down by the Creek early in the morning see the little salmon swimming around…”
Here are a few amazing Storytelling activities and ideas courtesy of fellow talented bloggers:
- Fingerpaint Storytelling from Mama Smiles
- Childhood Beckons writes about Storytelling with Illustrations
- The Artful Child has a whole series on The Art of Storytelling that includes some really creative ideas
- I adore this Creative Storytelling post from Tinkerlab
- In love with this Storytelling Bag idea from Teach Preschool
- Here is a great post on storytelling by NurtureStore
- The Carrot Seed Puppet Show over at The Golden Gleam is a wonderful idea
Thanks for choosing to read this post! I hope we have inspired you today!
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