Finding and inspiring the storyteller in your little or big one….
I first met Beth at her stall at a local summer fair and was instantly intrigued and excited by her Magical Story Jars. We bought one on the spot and have been storytelling ever since so when she contacted me asking if I would write a guest blog post I was more than happy to oblige and very honoured to be asked.
So here we go…..
We have had our Magical Story Jar since the summer and it sits proudly on the children’s book shelf in the kitchen waiting for little hands to open and start our next adventure cue epic squabbles about who gets to sprinkle and shake the magic dust and who gets to pick out the story cards but it’s all worth it as they sit listening quietly (who knew it was possible ha ha) to the story unfold. I have then tended to carry the story on myself but my eldest who is four is really getting into the swing of it and now needs little prompting to find his inner storyteller and take us on his own little adventures. These adventures can last hours as I can hear him re-enacting his story through his little small world toys and through loud boisterous role play with his little brother with the new and exciting language and characters to be heard loud and clear. Music to a teacher mummy’s ears!
I love the endless opportunities the story jar offers as a mummy to two boys not yet at school and as a teacher of infant children I have been easily able to play around, adapt and invent new ways to use our Magical Story Jar all with the same aim regardless of age to promote a love of stories and storytelling whilst developing children’s language skills.
The added bonus, the star on the top of the Christmas tree is the twinkle in the children’s eyes as they hear the story develop and they begin to piece together their own ideas as to where the adventure will take them. Children in my class love the freedom to add in their own characters, play around with the plot and work out how it will be a happy ending which is wonderful to hear during our oral storytelling sessions and even better to read in their independent writing. This all makes for one very proud teacher especially when those little reluctant storytellers or writers feel empowered to give it a go with the support the little cards give them to begin and structure their own story. All without the fear of not knowing where to begin and without that daunting experience of staring at an empty page. A feeling I’m sure so many of us have had in the past and wouldn’t want for our own little ones.
With my mummy head on I can see how the smallest of storytellers can interact and play with their Magical Story Jar; my youngest loves to empty it out and talk about the fab illustrations learning new words with every card and how the pre-schooler at the beginning of their reading journey can predict and make up their own stories right across all years of children’s education to stimulate writing, encourage quality talk and reignite children’s love for stories giving them the freedom to let their imaginations run wild.
My page @readitnowmummy is all about sharing my passion and mission to get kids not just reading but loving reading through little activities, tweaks and #hooksintobooks. Books are such amazing little worlds for children to explore and as a teacher and a Mummy I am so conscious that we keep the magic, adventure and wonder of stories and books alive for them especially when there are so many pressures for them to be a certain level or to achieve a certain standard or to get that next colour book band level. (don’t even get me started on book bands argh!!)
Magical Story Jars are about creating special moments and telling stories without any of these pressures; something that we could all do with a little bit more of and something our little people will love!
One of my hashtags is #hooksintobooks and I think I’ve found the perfect hook in Magical Story Jars as it creates such a natural link between reading stories and writing stories in such a fun, magical and sneaky way that children don’t even realise how much learning is going on. Which to me is a win win all round! To find out more visit www.magicalstoryjars.com
Guest blog post for Christmas Magical Story Jar by Rachel Tomlinson December 2018 @readitnowmummy