Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Act Out Some Fun!

When they were little, my two daughters loved to play Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

It could happen any morning we had oatmeal. One of the girls got to be Goldilocks (it was important to remember who’d been Goldie last!) and the rest of us were the three bears. We bears went for a walk, usually in the dining room. Goldilocks came in, tried each bowl of porridge, tried all the chairs and turned one over (to take the place of breaking one!) and finally, tucked into a cozy little bed. The bears, hot on her trail, found the oatmeal sampled, the chairs disarranged, and every bed slept in! At the end the bears “discovered” the visitor, who jumped up and made a mad dash from the bedroom, shrieking and giggling with every step.
We had so much fun! What we didn’t realize at the time was that this favorite activity was helping build a skill that would later be important to reading comprehension: narrative skills. You can’t act out the story in just any order and make it work; some things must come first, and other things only make sense if they come later.

For our little ones, playing is learning. If you’re looking for a fresh way to have fun together, pick a simple story your child knows well, and play out your own family version. Need to refresh your memory on some classic stories? We have plenty at the library. (A lovely traditional retelling of Goldilocks is by Janice Russell; a sassier one is by James Marshall.)
A great thing about this is that the learning happens as a natural byproduct of the fun, but don’t tell the kids. It can be your happy secret.

...Now, how about some porridge for breakfast? Guest post by Joyce F.


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