As a homeschooling mother of two, I’m always looking for activities that really capture my children’s attention and teaches them something new or hones the skills they’ll need in life. I also look for flexible crafts and activities that allow me to incorporate cultural or bilingual elements to help my kids explore our Hispanic heritage.
Now that summer is here and school is technically “over” for the next few months, I sometimes have to get creative about learning projects, unless my kids come up with the idea. But I’ve learned that developing literacy skills during the summer can be easy if you remember that it is all in the packaging: it has to be simple, engaging, and FUN.
Storytelling cards are a versatile tool for parents and educators. For example, they can be used to develop sequential reasoning, writing skills, critical thinking, letter recognition, and phonics just to name a few. They’re also an easy way to nurture creativity in budding artists.
The best part is that they can be made with any language or heritage in mind.
Things You’ll Need:
- index cards
- pencil and outline marker
- coloring pencils
- drawing books (optional)
First, use a marker to create a decorative border on the index card by just running the tip of the marker along the edge of the card. Use a different color for each card.
Next, draw different images on each card. Try to draw a mix of people, places, and things. Encourage your child to draw the initial image with pencil to make it easier to erase any unintentional marks. If she wants to, she can go over the lines with a black outline marker when she finishes.
My kids have a stack of How-to-Draw books that they pulled out for this project. This is completely optional, but my kids use them for ideas, sometimes altering or drawing their own images based on those in the books.
Then, add some color. Colored pencils can add some pop, especially if your kids use some metallic colors!
Finally, shuffle your cards and play a round. Start by drawing three, five, or more. Take turns telling outlandish stories incorporating the images on the cards you drew. The more fantastic the story, the better!
Have older kids select several cards and then write a story that includes the people, places, and items on the cards.
Write the name of the image on the card and then…
- Have your child arrange the cards in alphabetical order.
- Find the cards with beginning or ending blends (bl, cr, st, fl, sn, ck, etc.)
- Identify cards with a long or short vowel sound
- Sort the cards by diphthongs
More Adventures in Learning
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Whether you’re at home or on the road this summer, PBS KIDS can be your partner in on-the-go learning. With our award-winning mobile apps (including the PBS KIDS video player) and PBS KIDS video available for download you can ensure your kids will have a trusty educational travel companion all summer long. Stop by our PBS KIDS Raising Readers home at iTunes and download a free episode this week! This week’s free episode is Super Why! Rumplestiltskin.