Reading with your Hands
Story and craft are a great way to help your little ones learn sequencing, story development, and how to develop an understanding of story. The simplest craft idea to help children understand the meaning of a story is puppetry. You don’t need fancy things. Paper bags, or craft sticks make wonderful puppets.
Why the craft? To engage the child on many levels–visually, and with hands. Then, when retelling the story using the puppets, you have movement. They can dance, sing, tumble–whatever.
Key to letting this unleash their creativity is to be unspecific about what the puppets should look like and how to construct them.
To help the younger child it is good to set some parameters, but allow freedom within. Let’s say you are doing the three bears. (And it is good to start with a very familiar story)Tell the child that they definitely need one puppet for each bear and one for Goldilocks,. Anything else is up to them. Don’t tell the child how to make the bears or what color the bears should be. Let the child drive the creation. Then, be a good audience, responsive and appreciative when the child performs the story for you.
There may be deviations from the tale as you know it. That is good.