Crafting a Toddler Story Time

If you have a toddler, you know that they are amazing. They are great at so many things- making people smile, finding trouble, mastering new words, making friends, giving hugs… if YOUR to-do list was this full, you’d never sit still either. So how do you inspire a love of literature in your toddler? Personally, I like the Waldorf tradition of telling a story interactively. Doing this is like anything else- you can spend hours upon hours handcrafting the perfect set for a table play, or you can pull it off by the seat of your pants using whatever you already own. If you have older children who like to make things, by all means, go hog wild. Google some patterns and ideas, break out the craft supplies, and settle in.

I recently introduced my one year old and his friends to Goldilocks and The Three Bears. I did this in what I referred to as “seat of my pants” fashion. For that, you’ll need:

  • A copy of the story to review before you tell it
  • A flat bedsheet
  • clothespins
  • some furniture
  • three stuffed bears, preferably of varying sizes
  • a doll or puppet with blond hair
  • any other props you have room for/desire- if you want to use three bowls and three spoons, or three sleeping bags, etc.

I built the three bears “house” using the bedsheet, clothespins, and four chairs, and I put the three bears inside to introduce the story. Then the idea is to engage the children in the story. If you have a mixed age group, the older children will love to say “this one is just right” at the appropriate points. Ask them questions. Let them get inside the house. Let them hold the bears. Use lots of eye contact and facial expressions. And take all the hugs you can get.

Want more activities to go along with your story for a mixed age group? No problem!

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