(And no, it's not an iPad!)
Just like all parents, you know that literacy is not mere reading.
But did you know that the concept of literacy has evolved dramatically in recent years?
It no longer entails mere reading and writing, as now it is seen as a complex ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.
So we need to keep in mind that reading aloud is not enough - although it is the basis for everything else.
But before I give you the secret, let me tell you about a fantastic tool I use - that is certain to dramatically improve your story-telling abilities. It did improve mine.
Well, during one of my searches for good books for my kids - I discovered a product that I thought was a diamond! I purchased it and I am so happy with its potential, I can no longer keep this only to myself.
I stumbled upon eeBoo's Tell Me a Story Creative Story Cards, a fantastic idea that bowled me over with its simplicity.
The manufacturer eeBoo discovered a great way of promoting storytelling - which does not always need to rely on books.
There are four separate sets of Tell Me a Story cards, which are completely independent of each other:
- Tell Me A Story - Little Robot's Mission
- Tell Me A Story - Fairy Tale Mix-Up
- Tell Me A Story - Circus Animals Adventure
- Tell Me A Story - Mystery in the Forest
In short, a set of Tell Me a Story cards are 36 related "flash cards" - with NO letters or words on them.
The genius of this product is that there are many pictorial details on individual cards that allow linking to other cards in the same set in various ways.
So you can conjure up a new story every time!
Everytime I take these cards out, my two kids are fascinated with their effect.
Stories out of thin air! Magic!
I soon plan to expand our playtime with testing of memory skills by retelling the stories that we invent.
Each set is built around a specific topic, so that coherent (and incoherent!) stories can be spun involving the characters and sets on the cards.
The best part is that you can use these sets of cards with small kids like mine (I tell my twins a story, while they pick the cards in a random order and I invent the story as we go along) or with older kids.
If you have older kids then your child tells you a story from the top of his/her head after choosing cards randomly or spreading the cards in front.
The manufacturer also recommends (we have not tried that yet) the playing of a Silly Story Game (for two or more players) in which the players create "a nonsense story that delights everyone".
The first set that I purchased was Little Robot's Mission (at the time I couldn't find the others), but now I already ordered two more sets!
And yes, the Tell Me a Story Creative Story Cards have been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Gold Seal.
And if you haven't guessed it by now - the real secret to become a No. 1 storyteller is - practice!
Do you have any of your own tips on how to develop one's story-telling skills? Please share them - I'd love to learn!
Warning: There is one ingredient that is not included in the Tell Me a Story Creative Story Cards - imagination!