As I have said many times before we love reading in this household. We read everything, and because of my constant encouragement my older children must have subtitles on while watching a movie.
We are a bit excessive, I will admit, but we have the advantage of living through someone else’s life for at the minimum thirty minutes a day.
I like to mix my story time up with my younger children, so I have come up with 5 fun ways to tell stories. I never tell them which activity I will do, and I try not to repeat stories, but sometimes by request I do.
I tell stories by using books
I tell stories this way most of the time, but I try to read different types of books. Books with colorful vivid pictures, funny chapter books, lift up the flap books, solve the mystery books, books with sounds, books for the Kindle, and books for the iDevices.
I tell stories by using my imagination
I love making up stories. The story changes all the time. I tell funny stories, stories with a lesson at the end, crazy stories, fantasies, stories that don’t make sense, and loving stories. They never know what they are going to get. The stories can sometimes become to long or most times to short (when it’s told at bedtime).
I like the children to tell me stories also. They are getting pretty good at telling stories. They are so good we are working on a storybook of bedtime tales. I often times record their stories and use the recording to tell their story on another day or night. I love these moments, it really encourages them to use their imaginations and free their minds.
I tell stories by using the felt/magnet board
When working I often use this little nifty tool to tell the story and allow my students to use their imaginations for what I can’t show on the felt board. This is a great way to change some of the dialogue in stories that we have come to love, like; Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Three Bears, and The Three Little Pigs. Can you imagine the three little pigs have houses made of paper, popsicle sticks, and rocks. I do the same for my kiddos at home. When I grab the felt board they know they are in for a treat. Sometimes I ask them to fill in the blanks. I would say “What was the the three bears eating?” and they would say silly things like chips, candy, or worms. I would have my basket of felt pieces and cut up a new image right there on the spot. The same goes for my magnet board. I have printed and colored images from the computer and put a magnet strip on the back after laminating. I seldom get a chance to do this for a bed time story, because it does get the kids excited instead of sleepy, but it is a great way to engage them and spend time with them before bedtime.
I tell stories by drawing
During my first year of teaching I learned this little trick. I did not have the book “The Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle so I had to improvise. As I told the story from memory I drew the pictures on the dry erase board. The kids thought it was great, which encouraged me to make up stories using the same method. I have created many children’s books using this form of story telling. When reading to my little ones I am quick to grab a sheet of paper and allow them to narrate the story while I draw or vice versa. This is one my favorite story telling methods, because we let our imaginations run free. I have a special binder that I keep all of our stories and when I pull them out we create new stories using the same pictures.
I tell stories with puppets
Once upon a time we ventured into making homemade puppets for my home daycare program. I have shared a picture of this venture, and I must say I am a little proud of myself. Anyway I would use the puppets as a way to encourage language with my students who need help with expressing themselves or those who were shy. I eventually began have puppet shows for my currently enrolled children and others in the neighborhood. When I started working full-time outside the home I retired the puppets. Bedtime story telling had once again needed a fresh approach to storytelling, so I pulled the puppets back out. I used the puppets to either tell the story or as a character in the story. My little one looks forward to hearing from Lacey and Macey the twin puppets who disagrees with each other on everything. It adds laughs and encourages discussion. Believe it or not this form of storytelling puts her to sleep faster than any of the others.