Creating Stories using Art and Play: Part 1 – Sand Stories

Sand Stories Pinterest

One way to encourage reading is to inspire a love of storytelling. Enjoyment of stories stems from not only reading them but listening to them being read, watching them being acted out and above all creating your own stories. Making up stories isn’t just about sitting down with a pen and paper and writing down any words that come to mind. To make up a good story it helps to have a visually creative mind so you are effectively watching the story unfold with the images you conjure up inside your head. However to imagine something visually doesn’t come easily to everyone so sometimes the use of a visual tool is what’s needed to prompt the creative visualisation inside.

A few weeks ago we saw these amazing sand sculptures at Sand World in Weymouth, Dorset. A couple of my favourites (as pictured above) were Alice in Wonderland by Daniel Doyle and The Gruffalo, Wild Thing plus other characters by Andy Lee. As we had no plans to go to the beach this half term I decided to have some fun with the kids today and bring the beach to us instead. So armed with our little play table of sand, numerous stones, driftwood, shells, two little boy’s lolly sticks (minus the devoured ice cream) and yet more stones we had previously stowed in our pockets from beach days gone by, we set about making our own sand stories.

Below: Preparation underway.

Sand Story Making

Below: Sea monster lurking amidst the waves.

Sand Stories Sea 3

Below: Snap-a-tron and Rock Monster fly to the moon.

Sand Stories Snapotron 3

Below: Turtle aliens invade.

Sand Stories Turtle 3

Ok, so ours are not quite as impressive as the ones we saw at Sand World in Weymouth but by creating these pictures the kids were able to develop an original story in their own minds. It was a gradual process. We didn’t have any pre-prepared ideas, we just started making funny creatures, then built a scene around them and slowly the story started to unfold. The children began to talk about their characters, what they did and how they behaved, whether the story took place at night or daytime, at sea or on land. We told our stories verbally between us but if you wanted to take it to the next level any pictures created can serve as a fun writing prompt too.

This was very simple to do and so much fun!

Creating Stories using Art and Play: PART 2 – Stories in Shadow.

Creating Stories using Art and Play: PART 3 – Paintbrush Plays.

London Storytelling Events for May Half Term

Fun 1

Looking for ideas to keep the kids out of trouble this May half term? I thought I’d sneak in an extra blog this week to pull together some suggestions of exciting storytelling events (in no particular order) for those of you in and around London.

Paper Performances: Museum of London, Docklands

Monday 25th May 2015 – a free drop in session to design your own paper theatre to bring your stories to life.

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph: Discover Children’s Story Centre, Stratford

Saturday 30th May 2015 – An author, illustrator and book signing event from the winner of the Waterstones 2015 Children’s Book Prize.

Fulham Palace Fun Day: Fulham Palace SW6

Wednesday 29th May 2015 – Family drama, storytelling and dress up sessions.

A World of Stories: Horniman Museum & Gardens, Forest Hill, SE23

Every Sunday now until 31st May 2015 – interactive story session inspired by their exhibitions. Age 5+

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: Southbank Centre, SE1

Wednesday 27th May and Thursday 28th May 2015 – An adaptation of the award winning book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto.

Sam’s Pet Temper: Paddington Library, Westminster

Thursday 28th May 2015 – Canadian author, Sangeeta Bhadra tells the story of Sam’s Pet Temper followed by a craft session for 3-10 year olds.

Adventures in Wonderland: The Vaults, Waterloo

Permanent venue – step into Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland and experience it for yourself! Ages 5+

The One Dollar Horse, Shaping Stories: The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

Saturday 23rd May 2015 – Meet Lauren St John, children’s author of The One Dollar Horse and create your own horse-inspired tales.

The Alice Look: V & A Museum of Childhood, E2

From now until 1 November 2015 – an exhibition of rare editions to inspired fashions showing how Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has changed, adapted and influenced many trends throughout the world.

Greenwich Book Festival: University of Greenwich, SE10

Friday 22nd May – Sunday 24th May 2015 – Many events, workshops and activities from designing your own book cover with artist Alexandra Antenopolou, meeting the award-winning children’s illustrator Axel Scheffler or Steven Butler with Dennis the Menace to a puppet adaptation of Polly Dunbar’s book Flyaway Kate. Plus so much more so follow the link above!

The Paper Dolls: Little Angel Theatre, N1

From now until Sunday 28th June 2015 – a performance based on the book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb and the Paper Dolls Crafty Day on Friday 29th May.

Roald Dahl’s The Twits: Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square

From now until Sunday 31st May 2015 – Theatrical performance of The Twits followed by a free storytelling workshop for 8-11 year olds.

There’s some great events there so let me know how you get on.