Storybook games

A neat way to expand on a favorite children’s book!

Anytime I find a children’s book that is really well written and I know my students will enjoy it – I try to think of ways to expand on that book.  One way I expand on a children’s book is by coming up with a story book game…

Expanding on a Story

In my previous post, I shared with you how we read “Pete the Cat: by Eric Litwin. As part of the reading experience, I thought it would be fun to play a game using shoes or shoe prints or shoe cut-outs in some way…

I settled on construction paper shoe cutouts and stuck them to our circletime area carpet using clear contact paper…

Encouraging Open-Ended Play

Of course as soon as the children started trickling into the classroom door, they went right over and began to play on the footprints.  This is part of what I want to see as well. I want the game to have an open ended – free play aspect to it so the children can make up their own games and invent their own rules to the games throughout the day….

I’d like to tell you that I already know what we are going to play as a group with my story book game mat, but I don’t always know until after I get it all set up and sometimes, not until the children are sitting on the floor with me and it is time to actually play the game…

Keeping it Fun and Engaging

All I know for sure is that I want the game to be inviting, open ended, related to our story book, and hopefully fun and active for the children too!…

In this case, once I had all the children on the story book game mat, I realized that we wouldn’t be able to do a lot of quick movements because there were so many of us so we played “Pete the Cat” says – kind of like “Simon Says.”…

Adding Movement

The children loved it. I tried to keep all the children moving at the same time in different ways like touching their toes, standing on one foot, and turning around.  And in between getting all of the children moving, I also called out individual names for a little color recognition practice by saying things like “Pete the Cat wants Harrison to stand on red shoes!”…

But for most of the day, the children played on the game mat in their own way which is exactly what I hope to see!

Questions you may have

  • I don’t leave the contact paper on the floor (carpet or tile) for too many days because it can leave a sticky residue over time and be very difficult to get up off the carpet or floor.
  • I used clear packing tape to secure the edges of the contact paper at either end of the game mat.

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Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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