It is usually the best time of day.
Recently, I went on a day course with Neil Griffiths who encourages the use of story sacks to support the reading/story. So then I was feeling courageous and inspired to get out my Little Red Riding Hood doll.
This doll is fab. But terrifying. I can honestly say that for many, many years, I did not dare look at that thing on the end of my bed in case I saw the other thing peeking out. Wimp.
Did you have one of these?
DAawww there's lovely Granny!
(with a dodgy ginger plaited tail apparently)
But flip over her bonnet and there's the WOLF! All dressed up in her clothes.
You can see how pristine he is considering that he is probably over 25 years old.
His face has never really seen the light of day.
I admit that I thought I might be taking it too far to break this monster out on the little kids, but they are obviously made of stronger stuff than I am and they had a BLAST.
And then they took turns telling the story again while the other used the doll to act it out and scare me silly.
If you are wondering about what sort of timings you could hope to get out of the use of props with story, I would estimate that we probably spent an hour on this one book. (The Little Red Riding Hood)
I read it twice and they each "read" it once and then role played for a bit.
1 hour on 1 book for 2 three years olds.
I think that's pretty good.
This week, they wanted to read another of my childhood favs; Are you my Mother?
I hadn't prepared for this one, and to be honest, I didn't think that they would be that into it.
But after the first reading, they wanted it AGAIN! And then again the next day. And my boy picked up the digger and started using it as THE SNORT. So I ran around scrambling together the other bits to encourage the re-enactment roll play.
Some are not accurately representative of the characters in the book.
Ok, none of them are.
But, the eagle is miniminini and so he is playing the part of the baby bird.
The duck with the bonnet on has a bonnet on like the mother bird. So she is the Mother.
And yes that is a basket on blu tac on a tree, but really it is a nest.
It's all about imagination ok?
(miniminiminimini baby bird is missing from this picture because after all that play, he has gone missing. Maybe he is still re-enacting the story and has not been sucked up in the hoover or anything gory like that.)
Simple. That's all it was, and this got even the just-2 year old re-telling the story and acting out the parts.
Simple can go a long way.
For more information about Neil Griffiths:
For other ways that we have previously enjoyed kid's books:
Books to Freak Out With:
The Indian in the Cupboard
If you are looking for a book and props all-in-one type thing, look no further than Boris.
We love him so much!