Here are some new ways to introduce stories, nursery rhymes and finger plays!
These will all help with early literacy in children as well as build a foundation for cognition and creativity in young children.
Shadow theater, so fun! Hang a light colored sheet up between two chairs, put a lamp behind you while you sit behind the sheet and hold up different items for your little ones to guess what they are, or make animal shadows while telling a story! You could do Itsy bitsy spider, 5 little monkeys etc. All of these can be done by cutting out a shape and gluing it to a stick along with other characters from the story. Any nursery rhyme would be perfect!
Create your own felt board stories; these can be especially great for older children since they can help you cut out the felt pieces. Or if you aren’t a fan of felt or don’t have the time to cut out all of the pieces and glue them together you can always print out pictures for your little one to color and laminate them, then glue a magnet on the back and use your refrigerator as your story board.
Something fun for an older child is letting them create an image from one of their favorite stories and provide them with different fabric pieces to cut and sew together! They can create a blanket, wall drapery, T- shirt, really anything they want :) Pick up some food coloring to let them dye the fabrics too, sometimes this really puts the magic into it. (If the child isn't old enough for scissors they could always glue the pieces on!)
Have your child create their own story book. Provide them with paper, scissors, glitter, markers/ crayons, glue sticks, hole puncher and some string to tie it together.
A great way to engage infants and toddlers with finger plays is to create the character! It’s much easier for a preschooler to create these images in their minds, but not as easy for the little ones who haven’t discovered quite as much yet :) what I do is find old knit gloves that either don’t fit or have no mate and cut the fingers off, Then I knit some faces on them, add arms, legs, outfits, hats or silly hair. This works great for 5 little speckled frogs etc.
You can also create your own puppets to tell the stories to the children!! or use the puppets behind a hung sheet and read them the story from behind the scenes.
And always dress the part! One of our favorite things to do in our house is dress up while playing; nothing is more fun for them than to share this moment with someone they love!