Week 5 group chat: story ideas

Doll couple standing on log

It was great to chat with you about ideas for adding new elements to favourite stories.

You can read below a summary of some of the key things we talked about, or you can download the audio version of this summary.

We’re right in the middle of some hugely challenging times right now. And story is going to be such an important part of how children understand and process these big changes over time.

And the fun that you have with your little one, exploring stories and integrating their ideas into your tale, is a great foundation for lifelong learning and self-expression.

Stack of books with cup on top

We talked about some of your favourite books:
One Pig Went for a Drive
Please Mr Panda
Going On A Bear Hunt
Noisy button books
Pip & Posy Look & Say
Yummy Yucky

Right now, we’re all finding creative ways to use what we’ve got and avoid trips to the shops. So, whilst props are a huge part of storytelling, our Zoom chat focused much more on using gesture, rhythm and rhyme to enhance our stories.

Hands open art

Using big gestures is a huge part of the picture. It’s not until someone pointed it out to me, that I realised how little I was actually using my hands to illustrate what I say. Since practicing this more, I’ve noticed how readily children respond to it.

We paint words with our hands. The shapes and patterns that we draw in the air reinforce our phrases and the rhythms of speech.

We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
We’ll have to go through it

What gestures would you use for these key words?

Don’t worry if the word you’re gesturing is tricky or abstract, (like the hissing of a radiator!) Your gestures don’t have to be an accurate representation of the word. Any intentional movement will do!

"Friends" spelt with Scrabble tiles

Props help us make a story more concrete. It lifts the characters and scenes off the page and into your child’s hands, giving them ‘real stuff’ to use as they share the story with you.

Thinking again about that hissing radiator…

One pig went for a drive,
Went for a drive in a motorcar
Bumpety, bumpety, flump!

Raj suggested tying ribbon to a stick for that ssss sound, which would be so much fun to play with! Haven’t got ribbon? How about stripping up an old t-shirt?

And if you have a stash of old fabric, that is also a great flexible prop for any number of things – waves, mud, hats etc.

From our chat, it sounds like we might have some folks digging up worms, making animal masks and maybe even raiding the recycling bin for the odd extra container.

Whatever story play you get up to this week, I know your kiddo is going to have so much fun with you! They are so lucky to have a caregiver who is willing to try out new things, get goofy and listen to what they have to share.

So thank you! Please share your story choices in the WhatsApp group and we’ll chat again soon.