Create your own magical adventure

27 Aug

Our daughter is four and about to start school. She is quite bright, we think, but is resolute in her rejection of learning – the three Rs are apparently some way off. One evening during the summer holidays, with wind and rain lashing her bedroom window and the gloom creeping up on us, we lay on the bed. I was about to start reading from one of her favourite books. Under the pile of thumbed and not so thumbed books was a plastic wallet containing some alphabet cards.

These are the ones which they can practice drawing their letters on and then wipe them clean to start all over again.  On the other side are three more pictures, with corresponding words next to them and space to practice writing the letter.

I picked up the first card I came to and almost without thought, I held it up and asked ‘do you know what this word is?’, pointing at the big word. ‘No’. ’Well, what is this picture of?’ I asked. ‘A leaf’, she replied. ‘Good, so what is this word?’ ‘It’s leaf,’ she said. ‘And what letter does it start with?’ At this point I began making the usual phonic sounds of leaf and eventually she got it. ‘Excellent, we had mastered the letter L and word leaf.

At this point I had an idea. ‘I will make up a story using this word.’ My daughter was struck with the sheer imaginative force of my idea, not realising it had probably been done a million times before. So, off I went, on a faltering and tentative journey with the word leaf.

She sat up and picked one up, turning it over and choosing another picture, this time of a hen. After some encouragement, she managed the letter and the word and off I went again, picking up the story and taking it somewhere exciting.

By this time I was starting to get into my stride, I was taking my daughter on a journey where there were no pictures in books or on a screen, just in her mind. Pink chickens, evil step mothers, swirling snow storms, fantastic twists and turns, it was all there for her to picture in her mind. Her face was alive with excitement at each new character or turn of events and when we came to an end, it was clear we’d be doing it again.

I’m not a super mum, always juggling work whilst looking after the children, trying to give them both as much quality time as possible.  I do know though that for those moments whilst creating our own magical world of stories, I am the most exciting, imaginative and fulfilled mother in the world.


6 Responses to “Create your own magical adventure”

  1. Cathy @ NurtureStore August 31, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Hello! What a lovely post. It’s great to see how you totally captured your daughter’s interest and imagination. I’m over from the BMB carnival at Playing by the Book and glad I’ve come across your blog. You might like a peek at mine – it’s all about play and learning – and I’d love it if you came and shared this idea with us in our Friday Play Academy link=up. Cathy 🙂

    • greenmumsblog September 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

      Thanks Cathy. I just visited your site and added it to the Play Academy! I am loving your site! I can see I am going to have to set aside at least an hour to have a proper look and make a note of some ideas to do with my little ones. I’m following you on Twitter now so look forward to talking to you again! Tracy

  2. MayBee August 31, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    So true, I was nodding all the way through this. My nearly four year old is exactly the same about anything that seems like ‘learning’. It is all about making it invisible, about play and about fun. I used to be a secondary teacher and I get so sad when I see children so young doing ‘formal’ learning ( some of my friends had flashcards out shortly after third birthdays). So much pressure on parents these days to have them ready for school.
    Sounds like you are doing a lovely job of making learning fun 🙂

    • greenmumsblog September 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

      Hi Maybee

      Thanks for your lovely comments.

      Yes I think they are placed under far too much pressure. My father in law always seems to delight in telling me that my husband could read before he started school! No pressure there then…..


  1. British Mummy Bloggers Carnival! Books and Play - September 1, 2010

    […] at Greenmumsblog is a first time contributor to the BMB carnival so please do find time to read Create Your Own Magical Adventure – her recent experience of storytelling with her daughter at the same time as sneaking in […]

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