You and your child will take turns telling an imaginative story using a “Story Wand”.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Social and Emotional
- “Story Wand”— any toy or object to pass around to show whose turn it is to talk
Explain the activity to your child by saying, “Today we are going to tell a story together. I will tell the beginning of our story, then you will get to tell what happens next. Then I’ll tell some of it again. We can go back and forth until we want the story to end. This story can be about whatever you want it to be about. What would you like our story to be about today?”
Allow your child time to decide what she wants the story to be about. Then hold up the toy or object you have chosen to use as a “Story Wand” (something to pass back and forth to show whose turn it is to talk). “This is called a Story Wand. Whoever is holding the Story Wand gets to say what they want to happen in our story. When you’re not holding the Story Wand, it’s the other person’s turn to talk and your job is to listen.”
Start telling the story first to model how it works. It’s great to start stories with “Once upon a time.” Don’t talk too long before passing the Story Wand to your child. When it is your child’s turn, really encourage her creativity, even if what she says is silly or doesn’t follow a plot that makes sense. This activity presents a great opportunity to be silly and laugh together!
- This is a great activity to do as a family with older and younger children together. Younger children will get better at this activity over time by participating with adults and older siblings who model how to do it.
- Younger children might repeat the same thing over and over when it’s their turn with the Story Wand. That’s okay! Even just taking turns talking and getting used to telling a story builds important language and social skills.
- If your child needs some ideas to get started or continue the story, you might ask questions, such as, “Should we make up a story about an animal, or a person, or something else?” or “Should we have something magic happen in our story?” or “What’s going to happen next?”
- If your child likes craft projects, she might like to make a Story Wand with you to use for this activity. For example, you could decorate a stick or a plastic straw with glitter, colored tape, markers, or paint, and tape a star or other figure onto the end of the wand.
- If you really love your story that you created together, write it down and illustrate pictures for it together.
- If children are having a difficult time passing the Story Wand and letting someone else talk, set a timer for a brief amount of time so everyone gets the same amount of time to share.
- This can be a fun activity to do in the car or while waiting for an appointment. You can also do it at night using a flashlight as the talking piece, creating your own bedtime story together!