Has the snow arrived where you are? Why not make the most of it & use it to inspire some creative outdoor storytelling with children. It's a great opportunity to use the natural environment to encourage a whole host of skills including literacy, communication & social skills.
We know how valuable time outdoors is for children & the effects it has on their wellbeing & more, however in the colder months some of us are less keen to head outside, but with appropriate seasonal clothing a Winter landscape offers so many learning opportunities to explore especially literacy.
With a snowy scene just a few steps away from our door, we thought it was an ideal time to explore some creative outdoor storytelling. So armed with a selection of Lego Friends we headed outside where we all searched for an area of ground which was fairly flat with plenty of clean snow & enough space for us to get creative, we tried to avoid areas with deep snow to prevent the Lego from getting lost.
Most of the figures we used were from Winter playsets, so they had skis, snowplow, toboggans etc, but with a little imaginative thinking, you can turn Lego pieces into all kinds of story props. We improvised with a Lego surfboard & turned it into a snowboard! This was great for sliding up & down all the snow ramps/hills that were created.
Snow is such a wonderful multisensory resource for oral storytelling, & offers so many opportunities for children to use descriptive language. Just encouraging them to think about how the snow feels, sounds, smells or looks, can be a simple way to kickstart a great story.
You can, of course, mold, melt, or build with snow & then knock it down & rebuild it, making it perfect for creating a variety of scenes. It also works brilliantly with Lego as imprints & tracks can easily be made, & then referred to when telling a story.
Creating a narrative in this way enables it to be played through a number of times & with that comes freedom to explore concepts & scenarios along with a chance to adapt if necessary. Social skills & communication skills also develop as children work together, & as stories are created emotional literacy & empathy can be explored too. Add to this the outdoor setting & children can glean ideas from the weather, nature, seasonal changes, & the world around them rather than being restricted by the four walls of a room.
Without the constraints of a confined space comes the chance for more physical movement too & maybe that movement might just inspire another aspect of their story, whether it be a fine motor move manipulating the Lego, or larger movements while constructing in the snow or keeping themselves warm.
Taking storytelling outdoors in all seasons certainly offers oodles of opportunities! However, if it's
just too cold to play outdoors, how about adding some snow to a deep tray & exploring it with the Lego figures indoors. It may not last as long, but I'm sure there'll still be plenty of time for lots of stories to be explored.
If you wish to keep a copy of the stories the children have constructed why not invite them to create either a storyboard or record their snow & Lego scenes with photographs/video or make a verbal recording of their narrative to share with friends or classmates later. I'm sure there are some wonderful Winter Lego stories just waiting to be discovered.