Help your child learn about the various elements of a story by creating a play based on her favorite picture book. In this activity you'll have her create stick puppet characters and a simple setting. Then she'll arrange her creations and act out the plot.
What You Need:
- Heavy paper or light-colored, lightweight cardboard
- Craft sticks
- Spring clothespins
- Towel or tablecloth
What You Do:
- Choose one of your child’s favorite picture books to turn into a play.
- Discuss this book with your child. Who is the story about? What puppets would you need to act out the story? These are the story’s characters.
- Help your child make a puppet for each character. She should use the crayons to draw each one on the paper or cardboard. Cut around each character.
- Glue each one onto a craft stick to make a stick puppet. Use the clothespins, as needed, to clamp the craft sticks onto the paper while the glue dries.
- While your young puppeteer waits for the glue to dry, talk about where the story takes place. Whether it's in a grassy field or on a snow covered hill, what could you do to help recreate the setting? Towels and tablecloths work well if you're looking for something that's quick and easy.
- Now it's time to recreate the story. The events that she acts out make up the story plot. If she isn’t sure where to start, suggest the opening line of the story.
- Once she has re-enacted the story, ask your child how she would solve the problem if she were writing the story. Make additional puppets as needed and help her reshape the story to make it her own.
If your child enjoys creating plays based on her favorite books, she might find it fun to combine books. What would happen if the characters from one story found themselves in a different setting or had to solve a different story problem?