So, I’m pretty excited to share this with you…
We keep a basket of art supplies in our dining room. The kids have a small round table and two little chairs right by a window. They love to eat there if we eat in the dinning room, which is infrequent but not rare. The basket contains various types of paper, markers, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, stamps and a few other items for creating. All of the other supplies live in our classroom.
We spend a lot of time telling stories. Well known stories like the Little Red Riding Hood types, all of the princess stories, superhero stories and most of the nursery rhymes. Most of the time I change part of the story- just to keep it fresh. I like to mix them up too. Combining princesses with the three little bears and Green Lantern. Mixed up fairy tales are soooo much fun. We also sing lots of songs, again the well known ones, but I also make up the stories in a song. A great Batman story to the tune of “Let It Go” keeps both listeners highly engaged. But more than those we make up stories all. of. the. time. I create characters every where we go- driving down the road we’ll see a red-tailed hawk or construction vehicles, read a funny bumper sticker on a car, see pets in cars and whatever else we see as we move through the day… The grocery store is particularly fun– Avi the avocado and Tom tomato live in a little shack made of corn husk walls and a roof made of corn silk- great for keeping rain out. Uncle Onion lives with them when he’s not vacationing in Virginia, but he always tells sad stories that make them cry. Avi and Tom like to play outside, but when people walk nearby they race inside so they don’t get purchased. Their parents made sure they knew the importance of staying away from strangers. They’d miss each other living in someone else’s house, you know! Their neighbors the Lemons yell to be taken back home and shake to try to escape the terrifying CPB (clear plastic bag). And it goes on… This actually happens in the grocery store. Three kids hanging off of me or in the cart under a mountain of produce, laughing for more– and I can’t even imagine what the other shoppers must think of our mild insanity. I don’t care. We love it. We have THE BEST fun at the grocery store!! I am not even kidding. I can’t wait to go- and take them with me.
I find Noodle reciting similar stories in her play time. Or we’ll all be playing and she says- about something silly- “Now that’s a story we should tell.” And then we do. Butter is starting to be so verbal he now starts every story with “One day…” the sound of his voice raising as he waits for me to look alive and start asking (open ended) questions to paint the picture in words that he’s got painted in his mind’s eye. I love it. Like– I live for these moments.
With a little inspiration from my faves at The Homegrown Preschooler, the other day I took out some stickers (My Little Pony for the horse-obsessed, Noodle) and two sheets of construction paper. (Total prep time of about 2 minutes.) When she came down from her nap/quiet time, I said, “Hey, let’s make a story with this stuff!” and she really did dive right in. She immediately started peeling the horse stickers and placing them on the page and started to narrate a story. I had a silver Sharpie right next to me (not the ideal color, but it was there and I didn’t want to slow the momentum- next time I’ll plan that part better). This was the end result:
Playing Together with Friends, by: Sarah age: 4 4.30.15
“One day, two little ponies were playing together. They were eating flowers. More flowers grew and bees came.” “Then a pretty cow came walking towards them to give them food and some of her milk.”
“Pretty Pony and Pretty Sheep are playing together in the field. Then Sheep gave a big flower to Pretty Pony to eat. Grain was on it. Then Pretty Pony let Sheepie eat her row of flowers.” “Two ponies were playing together. A dog came to take care of the two tiny ponies. A bird had no food. Her friend the lady bug asked the sheep. He gave her flowers. She also came back with 40 pieces of butter. The bird was happy and ate it day and night. A dragonfly flew overhead.”
“When they woke up they saw their food was gone. They had diamonds! Which were treasures. They realized they had to break open the diamonds to find their food. Then the diamonds were gone after they popped them.” “The pig and the pony were playing together. They loved to play jump rope!”
The back cover says, “The End”
She was pretty proud and loved reading it to everyone in the house!
I’m pretty proud of her too… 😉