Monday, August 2, 2010


I fell in love with storytelling back in high school when I focused on that category for our speech team. I got such a thrill from memorizing a story and then stepping within it to create movements and voices to make the story come alive for the judges. I have the pleasure of doing this for James now, and boy does he love it! He watches me with big eyes and when I'm finished he'll say, "One more time, mama!"

Lately, James is really into the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears - he asks to hear it over and over again. Because there are only so many times mommy can tell a story with gusto and because I want to nurture his own creative storytelling side, I set out to find an easy to follow book and some story aids.

A few weeks ago, while shopping on Etsy, I ran across this beautiful wooden set. I thought it would be the perfect accompaniment to our story. The book is a much loved (read: chewed on) board book from James' baby days. The pictures are simple and easy to follow.

Aren't the pieces lovely? I just stare at them in admiration. They were made by one very cool single mama who travels the county in her van with her 3 year old son.

It's wonderful how something as simple as carved wood can open the doors for imagination and movement. The other day I saw James using the set and retelling the story to his teddy bear. :)

Children learn so much about our language through storytelling - vocabulary, nuances of dialect, and vocal fluctuations. They also learn about morals, values and important life lessons. Best of all, storytelling is interactive and engaging in a way a television could never be. Instead of kids zoning out, as they do with TV, they stay alert, excited and full of anticipation, eager to hear what the storyteller has to say. Try it with your kids and/or students and you'll see what I mean!

As for the story aids, I believe these are very important, too. They encourage oral communication and creative thinking. They are particularly useful to children who are not yet able to read - they can look to the pieces for cues and ideas.

I wish I could find more wooden sets for our other stories. I could certainly create more characters for our felt board which could serve the same purpose. I LOVE this idea and if I had access to flat stones I would make them asap! Another creative idea I ran across recently was to use small, flat wooden cutouts (such as those you find at craft stores) for storytelling. If I were really ambitious I'd create variations of our paper people or sew some characters out of felt. Can you think of any other ways to create storytime visual aids?

~Thank you for your comments!~


Anonymous said...

If rocks weren't so heavy I would mail you some!! We have access to a ton and Sammy is just starting to get into story telling so I will have to paint some of these up soon!

Christy Killoran said...

We love making up stories. Often we will open a magazine or book and just take turns making up our own story. We also like to use different objects from around the house to tell stories, here is an example:

Emy said...

I have a little award for you at my blog A little something to say thank you soooo much for all the inspiration and sharing all your great ideas with us.

Förskoleburken said...

What a nice post!
I love flano stories, but have now started using magnetic tape instead. Wonderfully practical, and can be used on the fridge! Finger-puppets are naturally always a hit! I'm currently trying to make these props for three little pigs.

(And of course, check out my blog for lots of flanostories... :) )

Mommy Moment said...

These are great! I love the idea of wooden sets!
Our girls both love our felt set for Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I will be posting more about it next week.
Have a lovely day!


HouseofHubbs said...

Your blog is incredible, and so are you. Thank you for creating this wonderful blog to inspire all of us. It is always a treat to look here and see what you are doing.

alljoinin said...

Great post as usual!! Thanks for putting a link to my story stones, I have added some more

Kara said...

Those are beautiful! I like the idea of using your paper people- you could attach them to popsicle sticks and use them as puppets to act out stories.

Kylie said...

These are just gorgeous.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

We also love storytelling - with all kinds of things or just by questions/answers. We take turns developing a story, and sometimes come up with some crazy creations. We also like to mix all kinds of small toys in our storytelling - Playmobil is pretty useful for this.

Jen said...

I can just see you telling James stories, it's one of the reasons I knew I liked you right away, you're so enthusiastic and you have such a pretty voice!! :)

You're so right about the benefits of storytelling. Much much better than television.

The wooden toys are beautiful, I love the photos. I wonder if my boys would like these too...?

Mrs Addams said...

i make little wooden dolls for imaginary play and story-telling (i also dye playsilks). most of mine are painted but i also do a few with pyrography. i even traded a set of goldie locks and the 3 bears for an art class a few months ago. unfortunately, i don't have access to wood cutting tools so i have to buy my shapes already cut. someday....

Mrs Addams said...

Mari-Ann, thank-you for you kind comments! You inspired me to make another blog post today about these little books I painted to encougage story-telling.

Michelle said...

I love those bears, so sweet! I just might need to get some!!! I wonder if she would consider a custom order for you to get other characters made? She might appreciate the ideas:-) I LOVE books and story telling as you can tell from my blog. We're really into finger and hand puppets around here for story telling but I love the idea of the small figures too!

Elise said...

With your beautiful beaches could you use shells with pictures (that you draw) on them as story starters? Perhaps, You could make a set of shells that could be used to tell beach stories.

At the moment, my children are very much into felt boards and we use these most days to make up stories. Savvy has also used magazines and catalogues to cut out pictures that appeal to her and then we glue them in a booklet. We use these pics to tell stories - the beauty of these booklets is that you can change the story every time you tell it and we each have a turn at being the narrator.

Mari-Ann, I have been on the hunt for some simple to read versions of fairy tales. Would you mind telling me about the board book that you have featured in this post? The wooden bears are so very sweet.

Anonymous said...

It isn't a visual aid, but I love to use music to help tell a story. I have recently used a great piece of music from the musical "Children of Eden," to tell the story of Noah's Ark. The children in my class LOVED it, and I think it really helped them visualize the animals parading into the ark. : )

Oh, if you want to hear the song, I posted a link in a blog posting. Here's the link:

Thanks for your wonderful ideas and awesome tutorials!!!!!

The Hemleys Blog said...

Hi Mari-Ann,

I just found this one on story telling and I think you might love it.



Related Posts with Thumbnails