Book Review: Show Me A Story

When I received Show Me A Story to review, the clouds parted and angels sang.

Okay, maybe not but this is the kind of book that you can tell is filled with such love and devotion to storytelling.

It immediately put a smile on my face as I flipped through the colorful pages.

I came across one activity in the book that brought me back to my childhood.

My mom used to scribble on a piece of paper and told me to see what I can find.

I would come up with a drawing or tell her what I see. I used to love doing that with her and I hope to do the same with the hummingbird.

Imagination is such an amazing part of childhood and this book has such creative ways to show you a story.

It has 40 ways, to be exact, and they are such fun and whimsical projects.

I’m not a crafty girl but it still inspired me to push out of my “comfort zone” and try some of these brilliant ideas with my 3 year-old.

One of the projects we really loved doing is Cut and Tell. The little hummingbird got out her pink scissors and helped cut through magazine pages with me.

We each took turns telling stories to each other with the photos we cut. Granted, I couldn’t understand everything but I loved seeing how she opened up more to me.

That’s priceless.

*Cut and Tell

This simple activity is quick and fun to prepare, and children love that there are surprises on the other side of the squares. Children cut random squares out of various printed papers, then use them to tell stories. Because this project calls for materials often already
on hand, it’s a great rainy- or sick-day activity.

Time:
To make: 1 hour

Ages:

To make: 4+
To use: 3+

Players:

2+

Materials:

pages from old magazines (nature, craft, lifestyle, food, adventure, travel, catalogs)
pages from dilapidated illustrated books to cut up
ruler
pencil
scissors

How to Make:

1. Lay out all your magazine pages so that the sides with the most interesting images are facing down. (That’s right: You can’t see them.)

2. On the back side, use the ruler and pencil to randomly mark 5″ squares.

3. Cut along the pencil lines, trying not to peek at the interesting images, then stack up the squares.

Younger children can cut without measuring and shouldn’t be concerned with making exact squares. Because they are randomly cutting, some squares may end up with no image or half of an image, so be prepared to toss those into the recycling bin. Still, don’t look: The imperfection of the activity is part of what makes it exciting.

How to Use:

1. Each storyteller is given 10 to 12 squares, with the interesting images facedown.

2. One storyteller begins by flipping over an image and beginning a story. As the story continues, the storyteller flips over another image and continues narrating, doing his best to incorporate each image into the story.

3. Once the first storyteller has finished, the next storyteller constructs his story, based on his images.

other neat ideas:

– Do Cut and Tell as a group activity, taking turns flipping over an image and continuing the story, each child picking up where the previous child left off.

– Organize pictures by theme, color, or design and use these new groups to tell stories.

– Encourage children to cut and trade squares with each other for an open-ended, collaborative storytelling experience.

Several of the projects can be done from age 3 and up. Even then, you can always modify them to fit you child’s needs. This is all about letting their imaginations run wild and having fun!

The author, Emily K. Neuburger, is a teacher with two children and you can also find her on her blog, Red Bird Crafts.

Once the kids are bathed and in bed, check out Show Me A Story. It’s a great addition to your family AND it won’t wake you up at night, crying.

*Excerpted from Show Me a Story (c) Emily Neuburger. Image by John Polak Photography. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

**These views and opinions are my own.

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