When a child is engaging in dramatic play, she is also learning how to tell a story. The older she gets, the more elaborate her stories become - but even toddlers who start to create make-believe with their toys are telling stories! When a stuffed animal gets tucked into bed - there’s a story behind it. When the truck rolls over a cardboard box - there’s a story behind it. When he tells you what happened first, what came next, and how it all ended, he’s just told a story!
Nursery rhymes are great for demonstrating story structure; Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall (that happened first), and then he had a great fall (that happened next). Unfortunately all those King’s horses and all those King’s men couldn’t help him…and that sure sounds like the end to me! You can demonstrate by telling your own stories too; make something up, or tell an old family story, or recap your day when it’s all over.
Creating even a simple narrative around your day or around a make-believe world mimics the structure of reading a story in a book, and will help improve your child’s understanding of that structure in the future. Such a complex-sounding idea - such an easy way to play!
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