Storytelling with Preschoolers

My three year old loves storytelling. He spends hours each day engaged in pretend play, creating stories as he plays with his trains, his cars, his animal figurines, his favorite elephant lovie, his Legos, pretty much anything he can get his little hands on! I adore his creativity and imagination and try to encourage his storytelling ability as much as I can.

All too often I forget his cute stories by the time my husband gets home from work. My favorite new way to both nurture his storytelling ability and to remember his stories is to document his stories. It’s very easy: I simply write down his stories as he tells them and I create a simple book for him to illustrate. Keep reading!

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Week 2: Our At-Home Preschool

This was a difficult week for my family. My 94 year old grandfather passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving day, surrounded by loved ones. He was a beautiful person- he loved life and lived it to the fullest right up until the end. He will truly be missed by all of his 11 children and 24 grandchildren. Some of my fondest memories were listening to his many stories while he enjoyed a pint of Guinness and later having the opportunity to enjoy one with him. If I weren’t pregnant, I would toast my Irish grandfather with a Guinnness. Rest in peace, JJ.

The kids also had to say goodbye to their father for 9 days. With my husband away and the passing of my grandfather, it’s been a difficult week. We did however continue with our second week of preschool.

Timmy and I baked some delicious chocolate chip cookies together early in the week. We had so much fun! I’m snacking on one as I type. Timmy really enjoys cooking and baking with me lately and I’m doing my best to encourage his new interest.

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I try to get him involved in the kitchen daily. Not only is helping in the kitchen good for his developing hand muscles and fine motor skills, but he gets plenty of practice counting. Timmy counted everything while assisting me- how many scoops of this ingredient or how many times he stirred those ingredients. I would imagine as he gets older, cooking will be a great way to introduce measurements and fractions. I’m hoping this new love of his is here to stay!

I posted earlier in the week about an arts and crafts activity that the kids and I worked on together. We made a paper plate turkey. Vera happily collected some leaves at the park one morning for the project. The leaves were used for the turkey’s feathers. Timmy painted the dark and light brown paper plates and taped the leaves to the back of the paper plate turkey.

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I was pleasantly surprised with how much of this activity Timmy completed on his own. He’s never really been interested in crafts before now- usually I ended up doing most of the craft. He was so proud of his turkey. Timmy couldn’t wait to tell his daddy all about his turkey when he got home from work that night.

Several weeks ago, I bought a large roll of white easel paper from Michael’s for a few dollars. I covered the entire kitchen table with the paper and let the kids go nuts. The large surface really gave Timmy and Vera the freedom to create on a much larger scale.

They used paint, crayons and markers; their favorite material is dot markers (bingo dabbers). I bought these markers at Michael’s as well. I love that store! The dot markers are great because they’re easy to hold and so durable. Timmy bangs them quite hard on the paper and they stand up well to the abuse. I left the paper on the table all day for the kids. The entire table was covered in marks, lines and scribbles by the end of the day.

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Timmy didn’t just scribble though. I drew numbers, letters and shapes for him and he happily traced over them with his dot markers.

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With the Thanksgiving holiday, my husband enjoyed some rare time off from work. We took the kids to a nearby children’s museum one rainy morning. Timmy and his daddy had a great time building an “igloo”. I love Timmy’s imagination! The only thing he enjoyed more than building the igloo was knocking it down.

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Timmy re-discovered his love of floor puzzles this past week. He completed all of his floor puzzles. Much to his dismay, Vera helped take them apart.

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Timmy, Vera and I also took a trip to the library this week. Everybody must have left town for the holiday, because we had the entire children’s section of the library to ourselves. I wasn’t going to complain- we spent several hours there reading animal books and playing with toys.

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We’ll have to start making a weekly trip to the library as part of our school. It’s a nice library and my little ones had a great time.