In our new series, Stuff Kids Love we explore simple joys of children. This week we’re focusing on storytelling — because everyone loves a good story!
Children have great imaginations and their ability to think creatively is a skill that should be encouraged through purposeful play. Kids love storytelling, whether being read to, retelling things they’ve experienced or making up things off the top of their head. With stories, kids travel to distant lands, meet bizarre creatures, develop empathy towards others and learn important life lessons. Stories are fundamental in the healthy development and socialization of all children.
You don’t always need books to tell a good story; puppets, costumes and other pretend-play toys are great catalysts for a good tale as well. Melissa & Doug makes a brilliant puppet theater and puppets that allow for endless storytelling fun.
Or, if you like to create things from the very beginning, try one of ALEX toys’ paper bag puppet or marionette kits. These are great crafts that you can use even after you’ve completed the project.
Stories are also great for expanding vocabulary, creating complex narratives, learning how to articulate ideas and explore relationships and feelings. Writing a journal is a healthy way for kids to express themselves as well as practice spelling and penmanship; skills that are often neglected these days with spellcheck and the prevalence of computers.
It’s fun to make your own journals and books from scratch. Ellen and Julia Lupton have a great section in their book D.I.Y. Kids that teaches you simple binding techniques. If you’re really ambitious you could even make a book using your own recycled paper.
ALEX’s Paper Factory teaches you everything you need to know about hand-making your paper. It makes a great ‘indoorsy’ project especially during the colder or more rainy months of the year. After you’ve made a few books of your own, you could even have your own pretend-play library!
The rest of the week we'll be focusing on great story-related fun for everyone. So check back often and don't forget to tell your friends...