I am thrilled to welcome you to a new weekly series “Playful Storytelling”. Each week, the lovely Anna from The Imagination Tree and I will bring you a fun, simple and playful idea for kids to retell their favourite stories. We’ll be sharing ideas for dress ups and dramatic play, puppets, story boxes, small world play, fun games and much more. We’ll also be exploring ideas for story prompts so kids can create their own stories, journaling and telling stories through art. We hope you’ll follow along each week and join us in some playful storytelling of your own. Be sure to check back each week to see what we’re sharing and follow our new Playful Storytelling Pinterest board for more ideas.
Why playful storytelling? Bringing books, songs, nursery rhymes and fairy tales to life through play is so wonderful for kids. It fosters imagination and creativity, enhances language development, it can encourage reluctant readers to engage with stories, it can help with memory and sequencing skills as they remember scenes from the story and retell them in the right order, and most importantly of all – it’s fun!
To begin the series, we will be looking at favourite nursery rhymes and fairy tales. This week R (4 yrs) and I created some cute popsicle stick puppets to go along with “Hey Diddle Diddle”. These little puppets are so cute and they were lots of fun to make. They have really brought one of R’s favourite nursery rhymes to life and he has had a great time making up his own versions of the song.
The fabulous popsicle stick farm animals from Make and Takes were our inspiration for the cow that we made. We simplified it so that R would be able to make it on his own. After painting the stick white, he used a black marker to draw on the black cow patches. I drew on the face and R glued on some brown paper for a mouth and ears and some cord for a tail.
He decorated the remaining animals with markers and googley eyes.
I drew a fiddle on brown paper and R glued it to the cat puppet. For the tail we used a pipe cleaner and R simply attached it to the back using adhesive tape.
Our finished popsicle stick puppets! So fun and simple. They’ve brought lots of smiles and giggles!
For the dish and spoon we used a plastic spoon and small plate from our play kitchen. Googley eyes were glued on and pipe cleaners were attached for legs and arms (which they needed so that they could run away of course!)
To keep it simple we used adhesive tape to attached the pipe cleaner legs to the dish. Glue wouldn’t have held them on well enough and using tape kept things quick and easy.
The dish and spoon have definitely been R’s favourites and he began playing with them the second they were done.
We decided to paint some cardboard to create a backdrop for our puppets. I cut off the side from a cardboard box and R painted it blue to create a night sky. He then added some star shaped stickers for a starry night.
I added some green “grass” to the scene using a piece of green felt and then it was time to play!
There was lots of giggles and fun as R sang the nursery rhyme and had his puppets get up to all sorts of antics.
Our moon would run away as the cow tried to jump over it and the cow would be in hot pursuit! The cat and dog enjoyed a good laugh at the troublesome moon.
R had great fun mixing up the lines of the song as he made up his own silly versions of the nursery rhyme – the sillier he could make it the better! He also made up his own stories and all the puppets sat together and enjoyed a lovely picnic beneath the stars. We have the puppets in our living room and he picks them up throughout the day, making them chat with each other, creating scenes and stories, and singing. They’ve been a great hit!
Don’t forget to pop over to The Imagination Tree to see Anna’s fun Playful Storytelling post. This week she’s sharing a Little Red Riding dramatic play idea.
What is your children’s favourite nursery rhyme or fairy tale?
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