World Book Day is upon us but bookish play is beneficial for our children far beyond the first week of March. Once they are over the age of five 80% of our children's language is developed through storytelling so it is an essential skill to nurture.and also supports their imagination and confidence.
Here we have pulled together 5 ways to play with books and stories with your minis which you can hopefully use as a jumping off point for your play. Each activity can be tailored to your child's age and interests, but make sure you get down on the floor with them, get involved and happy playing!
1. Create A Story Snake
We tried this for World Book Day last year and it was a great exercise and made us all think (even me!) The challenge is to find a different story on your bookshelf which begins with each letter of the alphabet. Lay them out to create an A-Z story snake. Sing your ABC song as you dance along your finished line and pick a new story you found at the back of the bookshelf might to enjoy together afterwards. If you don't have a book for every letter, try finding a book for every colour of the rainbow and organising them into colour groups instead.
2. Match & Play
Find characters, letters, numbers, colours or animal figures from their favourite storybook to match to the pages. Can they recreate the scene using the figures and retell the story in their own words? If you don't have the figures try creating them from playdough or venture outside to include aspects of nature from the story.
3. Story Spoons
Do you have some old wooden spoons lying around? Perhaps you could use them to create some story spoons by drawing characters onto the spoon heads and using them to create a puppet show-style story play. Could you use them to rewrite the ending to your favourite stories? How would your minis choose to end the story?
4. Story Baskets
Try creating a little basket themed to their favourite story. Use the colours, characters, creatures and places of the story as your starting point and gather together toys, activities, playdough and fabrics that link to the story. Place these in the basket along with the book and watch them explore and play.
5. Dive Into The Tale
Pick your favourite tale and bring the story off the page. Don't panic, that doesn't necessarily mean getting into character (although it might, we can't promise anything!) but perhaps you might take a walk through the Gruffalo woods to spot fox's den and mix up some muddy owl ice cream. Or if Rocket from Look Up is your heroine try flying to space to do some star gazing with her in your sofa space rocket. If you love Aliens Love Underpants, perhaps you could find as many different colours and shapes of pants and hang them on a makeshift washing line... let your imagination run wild and try and let the little ones take the lead.