Stories can be experienced in many ways. Reading aloud is my favorite way to share a story. I love to read aloud to my children. (Subconsciously, I think I use this to feed my picture book addiction!) But, sometimes we don’t have time to read aloud, or they may not want to hear a story. So, we turn to other avenues to have fun with storytelling.
My children are six and three. They are at ages where it is often difficult to find things that will interest and engage both of them. Here are a few different ways you can share stories with your children, without reading aloud:
Felt Storyboards – You can buy Felt Tales Felt Board or make your own. The best thing about felt storyboards is that you or your child can create the story based on the characters you have or you make. You can even use felt storyboards to retell a story.
Tell Me A Story – Fairy Tale Mix-Up – I’ve written about these before (in my Holiday Gift Guide). I just love these cards because they are so versatile. You can follow the directions that come with the cards, or make up your own way to play. We usually choose two or three cards and go around in a circle and tell a story based on the cards chosen. It’s interesting to see my son’s use of story elements and my daughter’s ability to create a cohesive story based on the cards.
Make Your Own Picture Story – This is a great storytelling game to play with children of varying ages (like mine!). This is similar to Tell Me a Story, but you make your own cards. Find interesting pictures in magazines (I actually use old calendars, as well), glue them to card stock and laminate them if possible. Have a Family Storytelling Night. Pass out one card to each member of the family. Choose the youngest child to begin a story based on their picture. Go around from youngest to oldest, continuing the story based on the picture each person is holding.
Library of Congress Exquisite Corpse Adventure– An Exquisite Corpse Adventure is an old game in which someone writes a phrase on a piece of paper, folds it over so part of it remains and passes it on to the next person to continue the story. When all members have finished, the story is read aloud. (Hey! That sounds similar to my Make Your Own Picture Story!) Inspired by this, the Library of Congress in cooperation with the First National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jon Scieszka, began the first round of the Exquisite Corpse Adventure in conjunction with the National Book Festival last September. Every two weeks, a new celebrated author (and illustrator) adds to the story. The story will conclude in September 2010. I recommend subscribing to the RSS feed and reading the episodes with your children. Make predictions about the direction you think the story is going to take.
What kind of storytelling games do you play with your children?
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