The Power of Parenting

Friday, 09 October 2020

Seriously Silly Stories

Age Range: 3 - 5 years

Children's vocabulary develops very rapidly during the preschool years. Making up stories is a great way for them to use their wonderful words and express their ideas. Familiar objects can be transformed into story characters, and imaginary places can be visited, as you and your child enjoy some Comfort, Play & Teach™ time together!

You will need:
  • An assortment of objects from around the house (i.e. a spoon, a mitten, a comb, an apple, a bracelet)
  • A cloth bag

Place the items into the bag, and allow your child to reach in and guess what each one is by how it feels. Encourage her to select something, and then make up a story, using one object at a time. If she is not sure how to start, begin with a sentence like, "Once upon a time there was a magic bracelet named Princess Periwinkle, and she travelled all over the world in search of a..." Your child can select the next item and continue with the story, adding more ideas until the story is complete.

Enjoy this more with Comfort, Play & Teach™:

Comfort: Make a habit not just of reading, but telling stories to your child. There are many short and repetitive stories that are easy to learn and that your child will love to hear you tell again and again. As she learns the stories, she will join in, filling in missing words, eventually proudly telling the whole story to you!

Telling silly stories together shows your child that you are interested in what she has to say. As you encourage expressive language and demonstrate enjoyment of her imaginative efforts, confidence in her ability to communicate and make up stories will build.

Play: Using a 'feely bag' adds mystery to storytelling and is a way to help your child to use senses other than sight. This not only sharpens a child's imagination, as she tries to picture what each object is, but it also teaches empathy for those who are visually challenged.

Many objects can teach children about different cultures through play. Try including items that provide a different experience, e.g., cinnamon sticks, a maraca, chopsticks, folded origami paper, a beret. Such objects will invite your child to ask numerous questions, and expand her understanding as this new information is added to her story.

Teach: Using concrete objects for storytelling is a great way for your child to learn about the qualities of things and to add descriptive words like smooth, hard, curved and woolly to their vocabulary. Have your child tell you not just what the object is, but how it looks, feels or sounds.

Activities like this help children to understand that stories have a beginning, middle and end; characters do and say different things; and that some important event happens. Storytelling is a vital part of literacy development and encourages reading later on.