MAGIC CARPET HANDBOOK (9)
Part IV: Story Stretches (Transitions)
Stories demand focus. Storytime transitions, also called story stretches or brain breaks, occur in between stories. They engage your listeners in different ways than reading aloud. These treats offer children a respite from listening and allow them to “stretch their legs” after a book. Story stretches for children often combine the three R’s (rhythm, rhyme & repetition) with participation and imaginative movement. There are many different types of story stretches you can add to your repertoire:
- Fingerplays. Fingerplays are the most popular kind of story stretch for children. They have the additional physical development benefit of offering children a chance to practice fine motor skills.
- Sing-alongs. Songs work well as story stretches when they include participation. Examples include echo songs and call & response songs. If you’re so inclined, search popular children’s music to find them.
- Participation Stories. Participation stories are story games you play with kids. They often include movement and vocal responses. Examples include board stories, story songs, string stories, stories told in the oral tradition, chants and poems.
Benefits: There are lots of benefits of using story stretches:
- they allow children to release pent-up energy
- they’re little “brain breaks”
- they build rapport
- they lighten the mood
- language development
- cognitive development (they often teach children about a key concept)
- physical development (fine and gross motor skill practice)
- musical development
Story stretches can be used in many different ways:
- preparing to listen
- warming up / stretching
- shaking it out (releasing energy)
- sitting down
- passing out instruments or props
- putting away instruments or props
A great story stretch is your best friend. You can always turn to it. It will help you get kids and your program back on track.
Let’s prepare for a smooth Landing. NEXT