My three and a half-year old son is big into storytelling. Get him alone and he will talk your ear off. Like most three-year olds, his stories weave together real-life experiences and ideas from his super-charged imagination with characters, settings, and events from books, t.v., and conversations he’s overheard. There are usually actions, sound effects, and a fair amount of breathlessness involved. To be honest, it can be hard to keep up with him!
I love that he gets so much enjoyment from telling stories. Storytelling is an important skill for pre-readers (and young children in general) to develop. I like to find ways to encourage this is my son and the two kiddos who come for daycare, which brings me to our…
Corduroy Bear Storytelling Basket
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We have a well-worn copy of Corduroy Bear that is much-loved by my son and the little ones I look after. While reading it with my son and his friend the other day the kids talked about wanting to get into the story to help Corduroy find his lost button. Aha! I knew I could make this happen for them.
That evening I found our little Corduroy Bear Toy and rounded up some other items to make a storytelling basket. I used what I had. It took me all of five minutes to put together. Our night watchman is actually a Little People crossing guard, Lisa looks nothing like the character in the book, and the plastic camping lamp is extremely out of scale with the other objects. None of that mattered to the kids.
I put the basket on a blanket on the floor for the kids. They were curious about the items and we talked a little bit about how each object featured in the story. Corduroy was put into and taken out of bed many times. He knocked over the lamp and attracted the attention of the night watchman.
Then my son took the play in a new direction by creating a story about Corduroy and Lisa helping him to build a new house for Corduroy. They built walls and a roof (books and magazines) and borrowed a staircase from the dollhouse so that Corduroy could reach the roof to hammer the shingles into place. Of course, none of that happens in the real story, but that’s the beauty of storytelling – it’s a creative, inventive process that children can take in whatever direction they choose.
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