This splendiferous summer, we've had great fun reinvigorating reading, writing and tale telling with lots of outdoor inspired activities! Read on to find out how you can re-wild words and assist your young story-spinners as they set out to bring brilliant books and crazy tales to life...
No 1. Build your own fake fire! There's nothing like having a fire to sit around while you tell a tale, and our little LED powered one is no exception. The little ones love it! Our fire is powered by a small USB power pack and has an flame effect LED light inside. But there's no need to even get as technical as that - gather up some sticks and red ribbons et voila - a fire!
No 2. Make storytelling amulets. We like to start our sessions crafting to help everyone relax on arrival and get involved from the very beginning. All you need is a simple salt dough recipe, some cookie cutters and an oven (to bake them on a low heat for about an hour). Don't forget to use a straw to make a hole for the wool to be threaded through! They can then be decorated according to your story and off you go! We tell our little story-spinners that wearing the amulet lets their grown up now they are about to be told a tale!
No 3. Story stones - an essential bit of everyone's storytelling kit! All you need are some specially selected stones (go for the more porous type so the ink stays on) and you're off! Grownups will find that permanent marker keeps your pictures clear for, well, years! But they don't mix too well with little people so normal felt tips work just as well and can then be outlined by someone older with a steadier hand!
No 4. Props for your stories - wands, swords and spiders! Our favourite props we made this summer were our magical wands (note that burdock is the new bling), Excalibur swords (all you need are two bits of stick and some string - we used hazel for ours and got a grown up to shave off some of the outer bark) and parent-scaring spiders (simply add eight sticks to one single prune and bend the legs for extra effect!)
No 5. Slate sketching! Next time you are in North Wales (!?) or you find yourself with some spare slate, crack open the chalks and get sketching your stories. This summer, our story-spinners have enjoyed plotting and drawing their stories on ours. It's almost like you are transported back to an older age...a time of myths and legends!
No 6. Get out and go gathering!
There are so many exciting natural resources out there, and with a little bit of salt dough and story spinning you'll quickly find yourself surrounded by plenty of crazy, crafty creatures!
No 7. Raid the vegetable rack! We found that the very best way to create convincing character heads for stories such as Sir Gwain and the Green Knight...was to use a watermelon! All you need is a set of Mr Potato Head face parts and it's an instant winner!