Ready? Let us begin..... Helping your child to start stories in a creative way. Many children find it hard to leave behind the ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘One day’ openings.
Use fairy stories. Start; ‘Cinderella was in the kitchen. What was the kitchen like?’ Have a conversation about kitchens. If you have a story book with pictures, look and see. Start a sentence; ‘The kitchen was......’ Encourage your child to complete the sentence using the things already discussed.
When out for a walk or in the car..... Start a conversation complete with reported speech conventions. I’ve put what Mum might say in blue and what Sophie might say in red. ‘Hello!’ said Mum as she drove the car carefully to the supermarket. ‘What are you up to, Sophie, with Daniel?’
When the child replies carry on as if the reply is part of a story. ‘What?’ said Sophie, glaring at Daniel to keep quiet. ‘Don’t say ‘What.’ Sophie, say ‘pardon.’’ said Mummy in a tired voice. ‘Don’t do that!’ Sophie yelled at her Mum. Mum carried on driving.
Stop when you sense to go on would be dangerous! Some children then wait to ‘turn the tables’. This is really annoying!
How did the kitchen smell? The kitchen smelled of wood-smoke. The kitchen smelled of ash and kippers. The kitchen smelled of baking.
What could Cinderella hear? Cinderella listened to the crackle of the fire. Cinderella listened to the sound of the wind blowing down the chimney. Cinderella listened to the voices of her ugly sisters.
Played as a game with points this gets children enthusiastic about abandoning the ‘Once Upon a Time’ or ‘One day’ opening. My step- daughter used ‘One uponce a time’ for years! Now; ‘Cinderella leaned against the heavy table, feeling the rough pine beneath her trembling fingers.’ is much more her style!