Language & Literature: 10 Storytelling Activities

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To be a good storyteller, you must have command of language, imagination, and empathy – all things we would love to encourage in our kids, do you agree? Encourage a love of fiction and fantasy with these easy storytelling activities.

  1. Ongoing Tale. This is a game you can play in small increments throughout the day, or over several days, whenever you are waiting in line, in the car, etc. Either you or your child begin the story, then the other adds on, like: Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in the forest……and he had no parents so he never had to go to bed…..and so the boy became really tired and would sometimes fall out of the tree……
  2. Fortunately/Unfortunately. Similar to the ongoing tale, this is a back and forth game. The premise is same as above, except when you add on a part to the story you have to start with fortunately or unfortunately, for example: Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in the forest……fortunately, he lived in a cozy cottage with his mom and dad and 14 sisters…….unfortunately, they had no electricity or water in their cottage…..
  3. Start with an item. Choose an item to make up a story around. It could be something as simple as a paperclip….a magical paperclip….?
  4. Start with a picture. Let your child choose a picture that interests her from a magazine. Cut it out and tape it on a larger piece of paper. Ask your child to make up a short story about the picture and write the story down on the paper exactly how she tells it. She will love to see her words on paper and hear them read back to her, and it will make for a meaningful keepsake.
  5. Start with a book. Ask your child to tell you the story from one of her favorite books. I’m always surprised how much of books my son remembers, even if he doesn’t get the events in order! You could also make up new stories about your favorite literary characters, or imagine what happens after the book ends.
  6. Flannel boards. Felt character sets on a flannel board provide the opportunity for kids to arrange their own scenes and act out their own scenarios. You can buy felt sets of popular characters from children’s books, tales and rhymes. Etsy has a many sellers who do handmade sets for around 10-15 dollars each, and you can find some on Amazon has well (where I found the Goldilocks set, at right).
  7. Puppets. Hand puppets, sock puppets, finger puppets – they all encourage storytelling through dialogue. What a fun way to gain perspective!
  8. Dramatic Play. You don’t have to put on a showy theatrical production to engage in dramatic play. Try simply assigning characters in a book and taking turns doing voices as you read.
  9. Play Sets. Toys like Playmobil encourage open-ended play and creativity. I saw this schoolhouse on several awards lists recently, and I’m amazed by all the detail and play value. Lego Duplo blocks and figures are also a favorite.
  10. Today’s Tale. Turn the day’s events into a story. Change the names to keep it interesting.

To be a good storyteller, you must have command of language, imagination, and empathy – all things we would love to encourage in our kids, do you agree? Encourage a love of fiction and fantasy with these easy storytelling activities. Ongoing Tale. This is a game you can play in small increments throughout the day,…

To be a good storyteller, you must have command of language, imagination, and empathy – all things we would love to encourage in our kids, do you agree? Encourage a love of fiction and fantasy with these easy storytelling activities. Ongoing Tale. This is a game you can play in small increments throughout the day,…

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