Ten things I learned from my recent 100 day storytelling challenge.

I rewrote ‘The little red hen’. Normal isn’t going to cut it now.

During lockdown in New Zealand during 2020, I recorded 100 stories and uploaded them all on to the internet. The stories employed 100 different mediums… playdough, wooden spoons,string games, shadow puppets, crankie machines, paper folding and tearing, paper cutting, helicopter storytelling, finger verses, Waldorf table top puppetry, painting, felted storytelling mats, stories about my whanau, improvised stories, bedtime stories, healing stories, sign  language, te reo and many many more!

It began in lock-down when I figured parents would appreciate some basic coaching to learn how simple it can be to tell a story rather than only read them. And also some craft tutorials for extending stories into constructive handcraft sessions of ‘making’ and ‘doing’. My goal was very much that parents and early childhood teachers would watch the videos and then make them their own, and strengthen their own storytelling voices ( and thereby encourage children  to find theirs!!) I also  wanted to maintain contact with children with whom I had been working. And so it began. More than three months later, I  am keen to digest what I created and learn from it and  consider where it is leading me! So here we go. Read More

The great big enormous turnip

This is a story of a well known nursery tale and it is told with a string game. I include links here for the two string games that I use: the ‘yam thief’ and the ‘cup and saucer’. Although my hands are busy, I am able to make eye contact with the children at regular intervals for long periods and of course, there are plenty of opportunities for predictions about what will happen, and questions about how the animals might sound, and the repetitive pattern invites the children to participate. The clapping also engages them and enables them to be engaged with their eyes, their hands and their voices! a win win!

Back of Burnie’s Hill

A lovely simple finger play to tell. It has the same sort of pattern as the house that jack built, as each ‘image’ leads logically to the next. Great for neural pathways, and if you have trouble remembering the sequence, just draw a little image of each stage and then you and the children can ‘read’ it while telling the story together, using your hands and your eyes and your imaginations!