Shloka and her papa are bonding over time at home these days. I have shared some activities with them and this is one that has been a super hit. We have started using
simple and engaging storytelling baskets for toddlers and that focus on using all of the senses and a range of story props to help retell and reenact favourite stories in an active way!
You may not have ALL the props (like we did not have a wooden dog, snake or monkey) but you can use images or act like that animal to make it more interactive and fun.
This is a great early literacy development tool and makes a lovely way to engage in play with your child too. Having a range of these multi-sensory, storytelling baskets on the Montessori shelf would be great for independent play. These also make a wonderful DIY gift, along with a new copy of the accompanying book perfect for a birthday, playdate or Diwali / Christmas / Eid.
We picked Dear Zoo - a favourite in our household, where we took the book from our shelf and created the tray using our Educational Tuff Tray. The book has flaps to lift, and is a lovely tale about seeking the perfect animal to receive as a gift and encourages lots of participation from your toddler.
Shloka took a copy of our book and went on a search around the home for one of each animal to match all of the ones that are featured. For the animals we did not have small toy props for, we used images that we cut and laminated. For the wild animals we used the beautiful hand painted ones from here. Then we simply popped them into our tray along with the book, and started to read the story together. I asked Shloka to find me the right animal for each page as we went through the story, and she matched them up and named them all.
At dinner time, she came back to this and told the story herself - explaining to me over a whatsapp call, using just the props as she narrated from memory and invented any parts that she forgot, a fun evening it was for the sick mother's soul.
Papa has informed me that we now want to explore reading to baby dolls or teddies. Once I am better we will be making some animal themed craft to go along with the book or using the animals to set up a small world play scene. There is so much that can be done with this simple book and basket concept. Papa has patience only for the basics and we will need to explore more fun ways of entertaining her this week.