Sunday 7 August 2016

Using Props at Story Time

Goldilocks & the Three Bears Mask Set
This post includes affiliate links. See my policy here
Using props and puppets is a wonderful way of adding a new dimension to story time. I have vivid memories of my teacher using felt boards- somehow this visual element seemed to make her stories come alive. A simple tool but mesmerizing all the same!

For the child who needs that little bit of extra encouragement to listen,visual aids can be an appealing and simple way of drawing them in. 
The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Board Book]is a classic favourite and one of those 'read it again' stories. To add a multi-sensory element, sometimes I use a basket of fruit, passing around pieces during the read-a-loud.This makes for an enriching and engaging story time, giving opportunities for seeing, touching, smelling and tasting. It naturally leads to reflection and discussion- how long might it take a caterpillar to eat through a strawberry in comparison to an apple?!

Puppets, or using toys in a puppet-like manner can help a child relate to a story and it's characters. Sometimes simply holding a related character helps listeners to feel more connected. 
Bringing some drama to Goldilocks and the Three Bears...the story comes to life and children have a concrete experience of small, medium and large.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Ladybird First Favourite Tales
Some props are simple to make and depending on the age of your child, they may enjoy making or gathering their own. My laminated DIY 'Feelings Puppets' frequently come out at story time. When we talk about the characters or feelings within a story, they offer a visual tool for children who need extra support in understanding & recognising feelings. 

How are you feeling today? 
See my review of this book here
When children have access to story time props or puppets,  it supports many aspects of development e.g. fine motor skills, socialisation, memory/retelling skills, sensory learning, self confidence, role-play and of course language. 

Children will enjoy being involved in the making of 'Story Boxes' or 'Story Bags'.... figurines, musical instruments, clothing, puppets,household items, nature objects- if it's connected to a story it can be added to the collection. 

Keeping it simple though, sometimes just one prop or visual tool can be a valuable vehicle for enhancing the play, imagination and story experience for your child. Think about any book...there's bound to be something you can use as a prop! 

If you'd prefer to use some ready made story time props, check out the affiliate links below.

Happy Reading,

Missus B

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