If your kids are like mine at all, they love to tell stories.
Silly stories, scary stories, stories with funny noises and surprises are among our favorites. Making a storytelling bag is a fun activity for toddlers and preschoolers, but collecting is just the start of the fun! Increasing vocabulary and expanding language are foundation skills for future growth in reading and writing. I love to use our Storytelling Bag to build listening and speaking skill through play.
Here’s all you need to make a Storytelling Bag for Preschoolers:
• a bag or box
• small collection of toys and objects found around the house or classroom
• your imagination!
1. Start by gathering a few objects and place in a bag. (I used a mini tote bag.) You can grab a piece of fruit, small toys like blocks, cars, dolls, balls, animals, a little box, or bowl.
2. Have your children sit next to you and have them take an object out of the bag and name it. Expand their language by repeating what they say and add a descriptor. He says, “It’s a ladybug!” You respond with, “Yes, a ladybug with black spots!”
3. The kids and you take turns removing and describing all of the objects and place them
on the bag. I like to sing a little tune to signal what is next. Try this one or make up your own. (Sung to the tune “Go in and out the windows”)
“It’s time to share a story,
It’s time to share a story,
It’s time to share a story,
As you have done before!”
4. Then pick up a toy and start a story. “ Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to play outside with her spotted puppy.” Your little one will probably catch on and pick up another object to continue the story – “And they found a key on the ground!”
5. If this is a new activity, you may need to prompt by saying “I wonder what they found?” or gesture to the toys in front of the child.
6. I like to keep the stories short in the beginning by only using a few objects. After you finish the first little tale, have your children place the items back in the bag and sing the tune again. Have him choose the first item this time and start the story. It’s just fine if he looks in the bag to find a particular object. You can always offer a different twist to the story when it is your turn. Or maybe your child will want to repeat the same story. Anything goes here!
7. You can repeat the activity by asking your children to find 5 or 6 different objects. Be sure to count with them as they place them in the bag.
8. Before putting away the toys, your child can group them by color, shape, or size. Count how many toys you have all together. Arrange the toys in a circle. If you have blocks nearby, add them to whatever your child wants to build.
Let me know in the comments how this activity works in your home or classroom!
Mini Tote Bags on Amazon similar to the one I have: