Show Me a Story is a new book by Emily K. Neuburger
featuring 40 different ideas for children to use their
imagination and develop their storytelling skills! You may
recognize Emily from her blog, Red Bird Crafts. I featured
her story stones back in 2009 and I'm so happy to see
her expand this storytelling theme into a whole book!
Emily is a crafter and teacher and combines elements of
both into her book. Emily's crafting sense makes these
projects easy to do, accessible, and fun. Components like
group activities, storytelling prompts, and writing
exercises make this book perfect for educational settings.
Many projects caught my attention, such as the Story
Map where you make a map of an imaginary land and
create stories about the residents and the Storytelling
Walk where you visually collect items from a walk and
then draw and paint the items to tell their story. One of
my favorites was the Story Blocks and I am
sharing that with you today!
Following the excerpt you can read the
giveaway details - two winners will receive
their own copy of Show Me a Story!
Excerpted from Show Me a Story (c) Emily K. Neuburger.
Used with permission of Storey Publishing.
Photograph (c) Buff Strickland
Turn plain wooden blocks into movable storytelling
prompts. Line up the blocks in a certain order and use
them to tell a story. Take turns, and the next person
can rearrange the blocks and tell a different story.
It’s a natural way to develop a story
— just line ’em up and begin.
There is something very satisfying about the heft of these
blocks. When your children add new characters to their
stories, they feel the weight of the characters in their
hands as they place them in the storytelling lineup. These
blocks give children a chance to use their bodies and their
brains. Educators and therapists who work with young
children will appreciate this balanced combination of
gross-motor and cognitive skills.
Time: To make: 2 hands-on hours
Ages: To make: 5+, To use: 3+
wooden blocks, used or new
acrylic paint and brushes
pictures from catalogs, magazines, maps, personal
colored pencils or pens (optional)
How to Make
1. Depending on the finish on the blocks, you may need
to rough them up with a bit of sandpaper. Select pleasing,
inviting colors for the blocks. You can paint them in a
variety of colors, all the same color, or different shades of
one color, as you wish. Paint three sides of the blocks,
and stand them up on the unpainted side to dry.
2. Once they’re dry, paint the unpainted side and set
aside to dry. Repeat this process until all the blocks are
well coated in paint. Do you want to leave the blocks in
their natural state? Go for it! Or use a stain rather than
opaque paint, so that the wood grain shows through. The
more the blocks are tailored to your individual
taste, the better.
3. Sort through images and choose ones that seem
interesting, creative, funny, or just darn cute. You can
use drawn images as well.
4. Given that the blocks are most likely of different sizes
and shapes, take care to match each one individually
with a picture. Choose a block and then look through
the magazines for an image that would fit on it nicely.
Use the pencil and a block to lightly trace an outline
around the image, but cut out the image a bit smaller
than the outline. Don’t fret about imperfection while
you cut: a little bit of uneven cutting will add character
and life to your Story Blocks.
5. With a foam brush, coat the front of a block with a thin
layer of Mod Podge and firmly press the picture onto it.
Carefully press out any air bubbles and wrinkles, then
coat with another layer of Mod Podge. Set on a cloth to
dry. Once the blocks are dry, you may need to give them
all another coat of Mod Podge to ensure their longevity.
During creative writing lessons, teachers can put
the blocks on display and encourage students to
choose some for their writing tables.
Greg Nesbit Photography
Other Neat Ideas:
Set a few Story Blocks on a windowsill, dresser, or shelf
for a bit of story art, and change them from time to time
to keep things interesting. With little ones, encourage
creative building, rearranging, and stacking. Add a few
Story Blocks with words to your child’s collection. This will
add depth to the storytelling possibilities.
Now for the giveaway!
To enter this giveaway for a copy of
Show Me A Story, please leave a comment on this
post by midnight P.S.T on Saturday, September 29th.
The two winners will be announced here
on Monday, October 1st.
If you are reading this on Twitter, Facebook,
Google+ or in your email you will need to visit
this post on The Crafty Crow blog to enter your
comment for eligibility. Winners will be chosen
using the Random Number Generator.
This giveaway is available in the USA only.
*Comments are moderated to prevent spam so don't
worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately.
For another chance to win a copy of
Show Me A Story just visit the publisher's blog
and enter your comment there! You'll also find a
list of all the other blogs offering a giveaway :)
I received a free copy of the book for review but
all opinons are my own. This post includes affiliate links.