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Toys: The Best Storytelling Props

This guest post was written by Wendy Ennis, a mother, teacher, and crafter. Today, she shares her practice of incorporating toys and story time with her two daughters. Have an idea to share on our blog? Please get in touch here.

Do you remember playing with toys as a child? Do you remember telling stories with the toys? Which were you favorite? Which stories and toys lingered beyond your youth?

Stories, toys, and play are the essentials of a child's life beyond the essential essentials of love, food, shelter, and clothes. They are what nourish our minds and help us to understand people, ideas, places, and emotions. They guide us through all times and open our worlds to the unthinkable. With them, anything is possible.  

Stories without toys are still incredible, but toys add a bit more. Why? They link the seen with the unseen. They join the "what if?" with the "what is." They provide a connection between the worlds of imagination and reality.
Using the love bug car as a prop for story time
So how do you use toys as story props or tools? Here are some simple ways to incorporate them into story time:
  • Select a toy and use it in a story
  • Give the toy a super power in the story
  • Make the toy a character in the story and name it
  • Choose two toys and tell a story about them
  • Sketch, draw, or paint a background for a toy in a story
  • Create a song about a toy
  • Tell a story about a toy, a person, and action
  • Parodize a known story using a toy 
While all of these are wonderful ideas, an essential piece for toys and stories to be successful is to embrace a home of storytelling. It can be a challenge for some, because, it seems as if stories have lost their place in homes. Or, perhaps, stories have changed their forms in homes. People don't always sit around a fire telling stories anymore. We often see them engaging with stories on a tablet, phone, or computer.
Smiling Tree Toys Personalized Wooden Magic Wand
Yet, toys are essential for children. They help them with their own stories. They allow parents to interact with their children in a fun and educational way, creating memories and traditions as they do. Give it a try and see where your child's story takes you!  
Wendy is a storyteller, crown maker, and teacher. She hand stitches one-of-a-kind crowns from natural fibers. She created Calliope Crowns for her two daughters after teaching Spanish and Special Education for 12 years. Wendy and her family live by Thoreau's words, "how vain it is to sit down to write, when one has not stood up to live." Follow her on Instagram.

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