Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No puppets? No problem.

Imaginative play is one of the most meaningful and effective ways to teach children...it's also fun and inexpensive (let's face it, those last two seal the deal for me).  You don't need elaborate puppets like the ones made by Folkmanis, (although they make great gift suggestions for grandparents who tend toward toys of the noisy and plastic variety). 

You can make almost any book into story pieces with your computer (or one of the library's if your printer is like mine and always seems to be out of magenta) and some laminate or clear packing tape.  Books with familiar characters or repeating refrains work best for this type of play, and free clip art images are a cinch to find online. 

Example: Today in storytime I handed an animal to each child and we did a group retelling of Bill Martin's classic, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?  The children helped "tell" the story by bringing up the animals placing them on our easel.  Making a game out of stories like this one can help children understand and remember the parts in a story. 

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