Once upon a time, families in Guernsey were staying at home...
It's National Storytelling Week, celebrating the enormous power of stories. This year it's a little different, as we all stay at home during lockdown. So here's Abi from our Children's Team with her top tips for making stories exciting at home.
1. Bookless stories
Try telling a favourite story from memory. Something simple like Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs or the Gingerbread Man might work well - traditional tales tend to have a lot of repetition so are generally easy to remember. If you repeat the same phrases then your children will quickly pick it up. "Run run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!". You can add actions to go with the repeated sections too, to really get everyone involved. Or you can shake it up, with everyone suggesting new parts to the story and changing the ending.
2. Use props from around the house
What better way to tell the story of Goldilocks than over a bowl of Porridge with all your teddies? Or you can go on a Bear Hunt when you're in the garden, or have a tea party with the Tiger that came to tea.
3. Incorporate an activity
Can you grow your own beanstalk in the garden? Will yours lead to a giant in the sky?
4. Blanket forts
There’s nothing cosier on a rainy day than a blanket fort! And it's the perfect place to snuggle up and read stories. But wait...is it just a blanket fort? Or is it a bear’s den? Or an enchanted palace!
5. Re-enact your favourite movie or book
Could your house in fact be Hogwarts? Think of all the potions you could make! Or perhaps pirates have buried treasure in the garden? The possibilities are endless!
6. Learn a poem
Challenge yourselves to learn a poem like The Owl and the Pussycat. Reciting it together can be a great treat to record and share with relatives, and is also a valuable tool for language development and memory.
7. Make your own book
This is a fun way of playing to the different strengths of each child in the family. Arty? Illustrator! Enjoys writing? Scribe! Likes performing? Storyteller! The finished article will be something to treasure and look back at in years to come
8. Charades, Pictionary, etc
These sorts of games are not just fun, they're also really valuable ways of promoting children’s communication skills beyond just words.
9. Story games
There are loads of story games that you can play as a family while sat around the dinner table or in the car. Try saying one word each, taking it in turns to tell a story, or go round in a circle and try to remember what each person has previously said happened.
Last but not least - puppets are one of my favourite tools for storytelling. You can make them from just about anything! The sock that came out of the wash solo? It's not a sock, it's a snake! That old T-shirt with the stain down the front? It's not a T-shirt, it's a Gruffalo!
These are just a few of our ideas, but the possibilities are endless! Get in touch and tell us some of your favourite story time activities at home.