Here’s a really simple idea that’s full of possibilities for children to develop language, art and imagination: design your dream home!
A quick post tonight with an fun idea for a game we’ve been playing today all about rhymes.
Understanding the different parts of our language is important for children as they develop their own speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, and one of the parts of language is of course rhyme. It’s not necessarily something which young children understand easily. Pre-schoolers often think words which start with the same sound (walk and whistle) rhyme, instead of understanding that it’s the final sound of the word which they need to listen out for (as in walk and talk).
Little is switching on to rhymes now and will sometimes stop after she’s said something and say ‘hey, that rhymes!’. We’ve also been having fun thinking of rhyme chains, starting with a word and linking lots of rhymes. (bing, ping, wing, ling, sing, jing, ding…)
Building on this, and to have some more fun, we’ve been playing a game inventing couplets along the lines of…
I don’t like Mr. Melly, he’s too smelly.
I don’t like Mrs. Porty, she’s really naughty.
At first we had to think of the describing work first (smelly) and then have Little invent the rhyming name to go with it, as she found it too hard the other way round, where she had to think of the correct, specific adjective that could match.
Of course, using ‘rude’ words really appeals to a three year old.
We don’t like Mr. Blinky, he’s too stinky.
And as for Mrs. Fooey…….!
Make Your Make : 30 projects that promote a love of writing, self-confidence and compassion
It’s always exciting when a delivery arrives in a great big box. Who cares what’s inside, the big questions is: what shall we make with the box? Over to Big this time, who straightaway said, ‘Let’s turn it into a Story Box’. Her inspiration came from the character Pinky Dinky Doo (attention: this link is noisy!) who has her own cardboard story box where she draws pictures which come to life to tell her stories.
I think this is a wonderful idea to get children creating stories of their own, developing language skills as they play with characters and settings. It’s also good to use drawing in a different way – on the walls and roof of your house. And writing on a vertical (or even overhead) surface is very effective in developing wrist strength and pencil grip, getting ready for writing.
To make your own story tent you will need:
a big box – ours is big enough for both girls to fit in to together and sit upright comfortably. (If you’re not expecting any deliveries of your own, your local removal company or white goods store are places you might source a big box.)
a craft knife – to cut out some windows to let light into the box so you can see what you’re drawing. And apparently, rectangular windows are boring, so you might like our star-shaped ones.
felt pens – to get drawing and telling stories with. Whatever you like – let your imagination go free! And you can come back again and again to add more characters and make the next installment of your adventure, until every surface of your story box is full.
You might like to add in some cushions and a blanket to make your story box as comfortable as can be.
My girls are really enjoying this play den – inside together, in their own space, lying on their backs, collaborating over a story as they draw it out on the ceiling. Why not give it a try with your children? I’d love to hear what stories they come up with.