How better to explore comprehension of the stories you read with your child than helping them to act out the story?
For this activity we used:
Story books with simple illustrationsof characters
White card (e.g. the inside of a cereal packet)
Tracing paper (baking paper works)
Lolly sticks (or sticks/pencils etc…)
1) Read out the story chosen with your child.
2) Cut the tracing paper and card into rectangles big enough to trace the characters on to.
3) Help hold the tracing paper rectangle still while your child traces the outline and main details of a character.
4) Turn tracing paper over onto a rectangle of card so that the pencil line faces the card.
5) Draw over the back of the line (or scribble over it) to transfer the tracing to the card.
6) Draw over the faint printed outline on the card and colour it in.
8) Attach the character card to a stick with tape.
9) Repeat for other characters.
10) Place the character in a line on a table in the order in which they appear in the story, run over the main points quickly to remind your child what they might like to include, then sit back and watch their show.
We did this on a day friends were visiting us, and between the three kids we covered The Ugly Duckling, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Jack and the Beanstalk (with Jack being arrested at the end for theft and murder), and at the kids suggestion a hybrid of all three stories performed be everyone.
Tracing paper was a new introduction last week and tracing then printing images has been a big favourite that I can see us coming back to many times. I like to encourage freehand drawing too, but there’s something satisfying about getting a picture to look just how you want it to even if you don’t quite have the drawing skills to do it freehand. That goes for us as adults too – I think we mums had as much fun tracing and colouring as the kids did.