Came really close to not getting this one done today. Just had a LOT going on. We had a meetup with my Photography Moms group (Lensbaby) in the morning, then we did lunch with my FIL and his wife, then nap, then skype with SIL, dinner, and finally squeezed in our “30 Days” time. *phew*
Today’s suggested activity was to “Act out a story.” Of course, being the former theatre teacher and librarian, this was right up my alley! Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had them act out a story before. Though they do reenact episodes of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan all on their own, much as it pains me (“I not forgive you, Kyla!” “Forgive me, Lucas?” “Okay!”). I gave the story selection a lot of thought throughout the day, but didn’t come to a final decision until right as we got started. I chose Mo Willam’s Knuffle Bunny: A cautionary tale.
If you haven’t read it, you really should. Fun story with great illustrations. It’s all about Trixie and her dad going on an errand to the laundromat and losing her “Knuffly Bunny” (stuffed toy bunny). The kids already loved to act out portions of the story when I read it to them and it’s been one of their favorites for a long time, so I knew it would be perfect for this activity.
First, I read the story to them (which they’ve heard a hundred times, at least, but I felt like they needed a refresher before we started acting it out). But before I started I told them we were going to pretend to be Trixie (Kyla), her dad (Lucas), Knuffle Bunny (me), and her mom (N), so to pay close attention to what they did. When we finished, I put the book down and then started talking them through the process. I gave Kyla a stuffed snowman (completely forgetting we actually have a Knuffle Bunny!) to carry and had her hold “Daddy’s” (Lucas’s) hand to walk “through the park… past the school… and into the laundromat.” I would ask them what happened next, but the mostly gave me blank stares. Then I would prompt them to do or say something and they’d get a kick out of imitating me. Kyla particularly loved the “Aggle flaggle klabble” part (Read the book. Really.). After only a few minutes, Lucas no longer wanted to be “Daddy.” I guess he just wanted to be a spectator because he didn’t want to be Trixie or Mommy either. He did enjoy watching Kyla, N, and me act out the story (twice), though. And he continued to stuff the snowman into the “washer” (an empty wipes box) after we were done.
I asked them both if they liked acting out the story and they both said yes. This is something we really ought to do more of. It definitely helps with sequence of events, imagination, communication, and so much more! And it spurred them both to pull more books off the shelf to read, and that’s never a bad thing (not that it doesn’t happen every day anyway, but they pulled out books we hadn’t read in a while, which was nice for me!).