Not many books warrant a full review on my blog, but this one is most certainly worthy of one. We have been having so much fun over the past few weeks creating resources for storytelling following the instructions in this wonderful book, that I simply had to share it with you.
Show Me a Story, by Emily K. Neuburger, includes suggestions for 40 craft projects and activities to spark children's storytelling. The perfect book to support my creative, art and craft-loving child, as we seek inspiration for our creative writing project. No worksheets, or tedious and uninspiring creative writing prompts found here!
The first chapter of the book includes a heartfelt preface from the author, followed by a double page spread on the value of storytelling (spoiler: storytelling is good for adults too). Then follows a further few pages on how to find your confident storytelling voice and how to support your child in finding theirs. The chapter concludes with some guidance on how to use the book.
The following chapters are divided into story starters, story evolution, story activities and story play. Each chapter includes a selection of activity suggestions, each with a materials list, full instructions and ideas for use. These are the ones that we have tried so far, from the first chapter, and they've been such a hit!
Bean made her set of story discs using this set of 100 wooden discs (I'd perhaps go for a slightly thicker disc if we were to make them again). She painted them in various hand mixed shades of acrylic paint. Once dry, we cut small pictures out of some old children's magazines (I did most of the cutting, as it was fiddly) then secured them in place and varnished them with Modge Podge.
Beginning, Middle and End
I prepared these cards on Bean's behalf during one of our busy morning time sessions. I cut the cards with my paper cutter while Bean was building Lego, then read out the prompts included in the book (see below) to see which characters, settings, problems etc she wanted to include in her set of story cards. Bean made quite a few of her own suggestions too. We are yet to use these, as I think they'd be fun to explore with friends. I'll pop them in my bag next time we head out on an adventure.
These Are the Stories in My Neighbourhood
Telling stories while she draws is one of Bean's most favourite things to do, so this activity suggestion was wildly popular. She enjoyed painting and printing the houses, and once dry, added her own characters with elaborate stories of their own. I scribbled down everything she was telling me, word for word, then typed it up for her to read back to herself or to others.
There are so many lovely ideas included in this book. Some suggestions are more elaborate and time consuming than others (sewing a story mat, for example), but many require only paper and pen. It's such a great collection to dip in and out of, with enough ideas to keep you going for years. In fact, many of them would be worthy of repetition, as no two stories would be the same. These are the next two activity suggestions that have taken our fancy!
The last chapter, Story Play, includes instructions for a handful of resources and activities that you can make for (or with) your child for them to use during play to encourage storytelling. Open ended resources such as a mailbox, magic pebbles, a magic wand and large scale scenery. This adventure kit looks brilliant for inviting children to play. I can imagine my daughter and her friends being inspired to make their own.
You can follow along with our Creative Writing Project in my Instagram stories. I have a highlight on my grid with more details of some of the projects, which I will add to over the coming weeks. You can also read about the other books we are using for our Creative Writing Project in this blog post.