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Toys and household things can be stars in this storytelling project that children, as well as parents, grandparents, and gardeners, can enjoy.

I have always loved my children’s toys and those from a neighborhood pre-school we had here when the children were little. Now, years later, I’ve discovered the fun of creating stories and storybooks with those old toys and household things. School-age children can follow these simple steps to creating a series of scenes that can be turned into a storybook. Enjoy the fun of setting free young imaginations–and our own– to create a story about whatever comes up.

Seven Steps to a Storybook

1.  SCENE ONE: Begin without a story, only a desire to create an adventure using old toys around the house.

2.  CAST: I picked five wooden children from our doll house and old toy car, a gift from my father to my son. Then I deed three grinning skulls, old Halloween decorations, for drama.

3.  PLOT: A story emerges: The Garden Children—the name came out of the blue—encounter the skulls, or Toothy Ghouls–another name that popped up.

4.  SETTING: After seating the doll children in the car, I set the car on a ‘mountain road,’ our rough, rocky back wall. A row of over-grown bushes became the Forest of Fright. (without trying, I really got into this.)

5.  ACTION: Glaring down, the skulls, or ‘Toothy Ghouls’- another pop-up—block the road.

6.  THAT’S A WRAP: Shoot the Scene.

7.  No cellphone?  Write down the story of the scene, and illustrate the action with your own art. Or visit WendyMac’s YouTube site, ‘Lets Draw Together,’ for great ideas for getting going.

8.  Remind children that they are the directors of their story and anything can come alive, from a toy to a sewing box.

9.  COMING SOON: Scene Two: Another idea from out of the blue. The Garden Children seek advice from Button Girl.

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