Expert Top Tips: Imagination Stirrers

Each week we will be bringing you 5 top tips from experts in their field. This week we have asked Hazel Merlino, Mum of 3, business owner and lover of stories for her top tips on how to get children's imagination stirring.

1.Story/journey Stick

Find a stick from a walk, write down all the things you’ve done over the week, weekend or even month. Pick your favourite memories and find/draw something that resembles it and use string or tape to wrap/stick/tie it to the stick. It’s a great way to get kids to remember what they’ve done in a creative and imaginative way.

2.Story Bag

This is really simple yet really effective way of storytelling! Ask your child/ren to collect a number of objects and bring them to you, which you'll then put into a bag! Next, let your child/ren pull one object out of the bag at a time and use it to tell a story - either a story of their own, or a story that links each item, so as they pull out an object they tell the next part of the story!

3.Story Balloon

Blow up an unbranded party balloon and sit in a circle, or opposite your child. Ask each child to give you a word, any word at all - write all the words (or for younger kids, use pictures) in random sequence around the balloon with a sharpie. Once you have started the story off, pass the balloon around the circle - whichever word the child's right pointer finger lands on is the word they have to somehow include in the story you have started.

Once they have added a sentence or two to the story, they pass the balloon on. Continue the story until everyone has a turn, or until it comes to a natural end.

4.Story Dice

Print 12 pictures off (the more random the better, animal to household objects!). Take a dice and link the numbers to 2 of the printed pictures.

Roll the dice, and depending on the number it lands on, pick a picture of the two you have linked it with. As you roll the dice, start creating a story together and writing it out.

Top Tip: use A1 paper and marker, so you can do it on the floor together - enlarge the words, to make it more impactful.

5.Story Puppets

Design, draw and cut out lots of different characters. Stick the characters on lollipop sticks and set the scene through a cardboard theatre, or on paper. Try and improvise the storyline/plot - think about how the characters might talk, can you use different voices? What happens at the start, the middle and how does it finish? What about filming and editing it?

This is a great storytelling technique for kids and will really stir their imaginations whilst getting them to learn how storytelling works.

We hope these storytelling ideas help to get your children's imaginations stirring!

If you would like to offer any advice or top tips for parents, then please get in touch;

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