One fun way to engage children with literacy is to take aspects of favourite stories and create playful learning opportunities from them. Here are three fun suggestions to get you started…
1. Make an object which relates to the story
Immy is currently in love with book, I Want a Trumpet! by Tony Ross (though I must say it is one of those books that I am not in love with). In the story the Little Princess improvises to make her own trumpet using a funnel. Immy wanted to make a trumpet of her own and a cardboard tube, piece of paper and roll of tape did the job (see top photograph).
2. Representing an idea from the story with creative materials
Using art materials can be a wonderful way of engaging with a book. You could try;
- Drawing, painting or modelling a favourite part of the story
- Drawing, painting or modelling a favourite character from the story
- Drawing, painting or modelling an alternative ending to the story
- Creating with similar art techniques as those used in the illustrations. For example, collage is used by Eric Carle and a number of other well regarded picture book illustrators.
3. Re-enacting a story with toys or other props
Above: Immy retells the story of Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen using soft toys and a toy boat
Choose characters from toys you already own or make some simple props to represent the characters of the stories. Try;
- Puppets (ideas here, here and here),
- Felt board pieces,
- Story stones,
- Story cards,
- Story magnets,
- Dress ups where you become the characters of the story).
(Click the links above for inspiration, examples or more information)
Extending the story experience and encouraging story retelling assists a child’s learning by;
- Developing vocabulary,
- Improving comprehension, and
- Increasing their interest in books and (later) interest in learning to read.
Have you created a fun way for your child to engage with a favourite story recently?