Here are a few ideas to liven up story time at home or the classroom.
- In a TENT – This past winter we pitched our tent in the backyard. It was the best idea we’ve had in a long time. Story time outdoors in the pouring rain. It was lovely. We read and told stories for hours. In a tree house or play structure – One of my fondest memories so far as a parent was waiting in a friend’s yard for her to arrive home. My two sons and I grabbed books from the car, we climbed up onto the deck of their play structure and read for what turned out to be nearly an hour and a half. The weather was beautiful and we were content. If you don’t have a tent, build a FORT. Grab a sheet or blanket and throw it over a table for your fort. Climb in with your kids and begin your reading adventure.
- With a SONG – Either make up a story to sing along with your children, or find a musical. There are also wonderful Operas for children such as Peter & the Wolf. My boys get lost in listening to these beautiful stories.
- On a ROCK – Quite simply, go on a walk or a hike and find a rock. We’re fortunate that we have amazing rocks in our back yard. So we wander out there with a book or two for story time.
- WITHOUT a BOOK – Often we make up our own stories. On a walk, we’ll choose some object to begin our story telling. At home, the same but the object is typically a stuffed animal, a train or a mini replica.
- With puppets or felt board – Using props is a great way to engage children, especially younger ones into the story telling
- At a PARK – Typically we’re running around the play structures at the park but every so often we stop and we read. There is something about stopping and slowing down in an environment filled with activity and sounds of children playing joyfully that makes this story time even more special.
- Together – We’ll take turns filling the story with imagination. We also read stories and substitute words and names into well known stories, like Go Dog Go!, to make it really fun. So, for example, I would say, “Big Horse, Little Horse.” My boys always break out in crazy giggles.
- Online – Did you know that there are loads of virtual story times out there? We love Barnes and Nobles Virtual Storytime with the actual authors of the books. We also use Skype with my mother. She reads to my sons over Skype weekly.
- Audio – We listen to books every day while we’re driving, making breakfast and sometimes as our last book of the night. Listening to books is a throw back to the years before televisions and computers. There is something soothing about sitting back, closing your eyes and allowing your mind to create characters and the scene.
- In a Different Language – You Tube has loads of story times in other languages. Also, go to your local library. Check out their foreign language section for children’s stories.
Thanks for reading!