Kids Nook Reads: Pirates Aren’t Scared of the Dark!

I remember when I was a little girl I used to be my mom and dad to let me camp out in the treehouse in our backyard. They said I could… but only if I brought my little brother! Ugh! What was I going to do?

That’s the exact question in today’s story: Pirates Aren’t Scared of the Dark! In this story we learn that not only should we include our siblings in our games to make them more fun, but that sometimes we’re going to be super grateful to have them around!

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By Maudie Powell-Tuck and Illustrated by Alison Edgson

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Kids Nook Loves: Storytelling

This week we’re sharing some thoughts on one of our favorite activities at Kids Nook: Storytelling!

In today’s world when kids know how to operate an iPad before they can even walk, storytelling is an important tool in helping develop a child’s imagination and play. Imagining a magical world of stories and fighting with witches, giants and pirates is something attractive and fun for all children. Through oral storytelling, parents can not only engage a child’s mind through listening and imagination, but they can create a special memory that their children will always treasure.

Like with most activities, children respond well to rituals and structure. Taking care to create an atmosphere for storytelling will go a long way in making this time with your children a special one. For example, use an old carpet or a blanket to “fly” to story land. Make horse noises or clap when the character in the story is walking or running. At Kids Nook we use sticks to create rhythms for silly songs we make up, but clapping can also do the trick.

If you don’t have a lot of faith in your storytelling abilities, then get your kids involved! They probably have a lot of ideas about what an elephant or a snake sounds like, and you can ask them for their help in telling the story. For example, whenever you mention a Big Bad Wolf, ask them to make some kind of noise or motion that goes with it. That keeps them involved while you’re talking.

Another tool is to break up the story into different parts. Most traditional stories can be divided into three parts (check out Jim Henson’s The Storyteller for examples), and you can use these natural cliffhangers to your advantage. In Cinderella, when you reach the part where the evil stepsisters go off to the ball and leave Cinderella alone… stop. Ask your kids if they want to hear the rest of the story, or if they just want to leave it at that. Most children will want to continue.

Some parents might be concerned with how scary some of these old stories can be. They’re worried that their children will be scared by the things they hear. This is a valid concern of course, and you can choose stories at your discretion. However one way of handling this is to give your child an “invisibility cloak.” Give them a special blanket that they can wrap around themselves, and tell them it will keep them safe from any bad guys they might meet in the story. This way the children can listen to the story safely, as an observer.

Storytelling is a fun activity for both parents and children. It gives children the attention they crave from their parents, and it creates special memories for them. In today’s culture, when it’s easier to hand your child a tablet, taking some time to explore magical worlds and having daring adventures together will have a huge impact on your children and your relationship to them.

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Story Shirts

If you’ve ever read Robert Munch’s The Paper-bag Princess, then you’re probably already familiar with the idea of a paper-bag dress. We took our girls this week and had them decorate their own paper-bag dresses with pictures from their favorite fairy tales (kind of killing two birds with one stone!)

The girls used markers and different colored papers to tell the story of their favorite fairy tale.

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Büşra’s favorite story was Little Red Riding Hood.

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The finished products were amazing!

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It was such a simple project, but the girls had so much fun!

What story would you put on your paper bag dress? Let us know in the comments below!

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Pinocchio and Me

This Saturday we got a real treat: Turkish actress Beste Bereket came to our storytime and told us about the adventures of Pinocchio!

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There were lots of fun moments…

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Some classic scenes…

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And even some dancing at the end!

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Afterwards we made our own little Pinocchio puppets!

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What a fun time!

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Kids Nook Presents: It’s Very Hard to be an Octopus!

This weekend we had a very special visit from our friend Sara Sahinkanat, award winning author of many different childrens books here in Turkey. For our storytelling, she told us the story of “Yavru Ahtapot Cok Zor!” also known as “It’s Very Hard to be an Octopus!” Afterwards we made some beautiful mirrors with seashells and Jumping Clay.

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Check out some more great photos after the cut!

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