So what does this mean in regards to reading stories? When children spend time listening to stories, they are taking in all the new knowledge and they are making connections and changes to what they already know. And this all by itself is wonderful, but what if you, as a caregiver, could provide experiences to make this meaning and knowledge even deeper for the children by offering simple story extensions to build on the children’s understanding of the new information?
While it might appear overwhelming, creating story extensions is actually an easy task to accomplish. You need a little creativity, a little time, and a few supplies. Here are some tips to get you started and some sample ideas – remember that you can’t go wrong in being creative. Also, these are opportunities to have fun as well as spend quality time with your children!
Tips for Story Extensions
1. If you’ve never planned a story extension before, start simple and pick just one extending activity.
2. Choose favorite books to extend that way you’ll probably have your child’s attention automatically if you’re referencing a book that is already loved.
3. Integrate the story extensions into your everyday moments such as breakfast time, bath time, craft time, etc. You don’t need to carve out specific “story extension time”. In fact, it’s more meaningful and authentic if you mesh into your regular activities.
5. Talk about the story and the book – help explicitly draw the connection between the extending activity and the story that was shared earlier.
Story Extension Samples