Show Me a Story

My kid is a hoarder collector. Wherever we go, she is always gathering rocks and stones. She forbids the recycling or throwing away of any scrap, bit or bob, so we are awash in small pieces of fabric, empty egg cartons and paper. I often agonize over the piles and messes, but I feel much better if I can see this stuff as useful. And this is reason number one that I love “Show Me a Story” by Emily K. Neuburger.

As a librarian and parent, I know the importance of early literacy skills to a child’s reading and school success. One of these is narrative skills, or the ability to describe and sequence events, tell stories and predict what will happen next. “Show Me a Story” is a beautifully presented collection of craft projects that create props or kits for storytelling games and activities. In our house we started with story stones, using Modge Podge, construction paper, paint and fabric to create characters and objects affixed to smooth rocks. (We have plenty of smooth rocks.) We made a dragon, sword, castle and other characters, which have inspired a number of adventure stories. A bonus is that if your kid leaves them scattered all over the coffee table, you can call them “art” when visitors drop by.

Other projects include storytelling jars, disks (that can also be turned into lovely necklaces), puppets, journals and more. Neuburger describes adaptations for many projects to make them appropriate for older kids. And while most of the crafts are for children ages 5 and up, once the objects are created, younger kids (like my 3-year-old) can enjoy using them to make up and act out their own tales.

This book is a great resource for rainy day activities, fun techniques to build vocabulary and storytelling skills, or project and game ideas for your child’s next sleepover. Check it out from your library today!

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