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!~