Storytelling Time

~ Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 8:35 AM ~

According to Wikipedia,

"Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters, and narrative point of view."

This is one of the new activities I'm trying to incorporate into our daily routines. I noticed during our kiddos' playgroup session, our 4.5 years old boy was getting more interested and intrigued during storytelling session, especially when the story is something he has heard/read before (like the 5 little monkeys and the crocodile) and stories with creative actions and tools and props (Joshua and the wall of Jericho)

So, since I'm stuck at home with 3 kiddos, what else to do but to search online for tips and ideas, right? And ta-daaaaaa... the power of online purchases! I bought this set of finger puppets for less than USD4 and was so excited when I received them!

The Three Little Pigs

Now according to some websites, the Three Little Piggy story end up horribly where the first 2 piggies get eaten by the wolf. I've decided to change my storyline a bit. I started off with the 3 little piggies wanting to stay in their own houses and asked permission from Mummy Piggy to leave the house and Mummy Piggy agreed with the promise that 3 little piggies must come back to visit her often. Then off the piggies go and one by one started separated after they found the materials to build their houses with - straws, wooden planks and bricks.

I also told our kiddos that the first 2 piggies laughed at the last piggy for taking so long to build his brick house but the last piggy persevered on without complaining or feeling bad at being laughed at as he believes that the brick house although takes long to build will be sturdy and strong and able to protect him.

Then I started introducing the big bad wolf into the storyline, of how he knocked the door (yes, wolf has manners too!) asking the piggy to open the door so he can eat them and how the wolf huffed and puffed and blows the house away after the piggy said 'not by chin of my chinny chin chin' in not opening the door.

The climax of the story was when the wolf followed the first 2 piggies that ran off to hide in the last piggy's brick house and after failing to blow away the brick house, the wolf decided to climb up the roof and came in through the chimney and the 3 piggies decided to put a pot of boiling water underneath the fireplace to trap the wolf and scared it away.

I end the story with the first 2 piggies apologising to the last piggy for making fun of him when he took long time to build the brick house and that the first 2 piggies also ended up building their own brick houses too. I also add in the part where the 3 little piggies still go back to visit their mummy piggy every now and then.

The first time I told this story (mind you, I had to nurse baby Carolyn as well) we did it on our bed, I put a bolster in front of me to hide my fingers and hands (while cradling baby Carolyn) and I'm so happy to see our kiddos face lit up when they saw the finger puppets appearing. Had to hold them off from grabbing the piggies away from my fingers! Our boy was so focused on the storytelling session, worth it, worth it!

Am going to see what else I can create using the same finger puppets. I also tried to incorporate some moral lessons in my storytelling as well (manners - to seek parent's permission, respect - not to laugh at others, filial piety - to still visit parents, forgiveness - saying sorry for making fun of others)

That's all the updates I can share for now, feel free to ask and share if you have feedback!

iPad App Review - Trick or Treat

~ Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM ~

We had just recently reviewed "Little Critter-Just Saving My Money" and now, we have the privilege to add this story app to our collection! We are a big fan of Little Critter's apps and I love the educational values that comes along with the story apps and this is no exception!

As for the concept of Halloween, we don't celebrate that in our family but I don't think that should be a stopping point or something that I should not be exposing to my child, at least I want him to know there is such celebration in other place and there is nothing to be afraid of and we have reviewed similar Halloween related apps before so I feel all the more we should review this new app!

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* Title: Trick or Treat
* Price: $0.99
* Category: Books
* Released: Oct 09, 2013
* Version: 2.4
* Size: 33.1 MB
* Language: English
* Seller: Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
* Rated: 4+
* Requirements: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Description from the product page:

"Join Little Critter in this interactive storybook app as he gets ready for Halloween! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. From costumes to jack-o-lanterns, how will Little Critter prepare to go trick-or-treating?" 

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* It is engaging and interactive and I love that we can also touch the objects in each page on the screen and the words pop out to tell you what it is!

* I used the opportunity in this app to teach our 4.5 years old boy to not be sad if accidents happened - this was when Little Critter found out his candy bag has a hole in it and all the candies he collected dropped out from his bag.

* I also explained to our boy how nice of Little Critter's sister to share her candies with her brother and that my boy should do the same if similar things happened to him and/or his siblings.

* I can see our boy getting more curious with the concept of trick-or-treating, something which we don't see often here in Malaysia so I just explained to our boy that on this particular night, children gets to dress up in weird, funny, scary or pretty costumes and walk around the neighbour, knocking on people's doors and saying 'trick or treat' and what will happened after that.

I'm a full-time mummy

You can purchase the "Trick or Treat" app from the iTunes App Store.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the promo code to redeem the application for free from iTunes Store in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous iPad Apps reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My iPad App Reviews"


~ Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 7:41 AM ~

Oh wow! I learned something new the other day!

I realised I might have this phobia! I've always been the type of person who needs to read something. Anything. I cannot sit still and just stare at something dreamily and waste time. I need to read something, some text as long as there's text and words and letters.. I'm fine. So yeah, good to know there is a term for this weird habit of mine! Tongue out