Skip to content

Build Your Own Story! One of a Kind Story Time for Families

April 9, 2021

Are you bored of reading the same stories to your little one again and again? Although repetition is important for children, it can get very… well, repetitive. Change up story time by building a one-of-a-kind story with your child!

Story Building Activity

Collect a handful of random objects from around your home into a bag, box or bowl.  You may want to start out with 3-4 items and progress to more later.

Assorted toys and objects collected in a bowl for story time.

Once you have your items, take one item out at a time, or lay them all in front of you (this will depend on your comfort-level with storytelling). Using the items, create a story! You can ask your child for suggestions as you go. The sillier the better!

As you use each item, line them up. This will help keep track of what you have already used, and will help demonstrate sequencing.

Assorted toys and objects lined up on a window sill to build a story.

Adapting Story Building for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

This activity works for children of any age; here are some ideas on how to adapt it to your child.

Story Building for Infants

Babies love to hear the sound of your voice and seeing your face animated. Choose a few favourite objects and tell a short story with them. As you get more comfortable with this way of telling stories try incorporating a new object. As you reference it, hold it up and show your baby, this will help them associate the word to the object.

Story Building for Toddlers

Toddlers love to hear stories about themselves! Make them the main character of the story – “How will Micah save the day from the roly poly blue ball?” or “Will Rubiyah and the triceratops drive the green car together?” Hearing their own name will help maintain their interest and encourage their participation.

Story Building for Preschoolers

Practice taking turns with your preschooler by building on what the other person has said. Keep using the tips from above (favourite objects and main character) but follow your child’s lead on where the story is going. Build on what they have said and introduce new ideas, concepts or language as you go.

Here are some great ways to challenge your child after they have mastered this activity:

  • Ask your child to retell the story (this is where looking at the order of the objects comes in handy).
  • Illustrate and write the story together; a few sheets of paper and a pencil will make you co-authors of this original piece of work.
  • Put the items back in the bag to make a guessing game. Use events from the story as clues to describe an item and see if your child can guess what it is.
  • Try to add rhyming to your story or play with alliteration – i.e. “The big, blue, bouncy ball broke the bear’s bike.”

Show us the items you used to build a story by sharing a picture of them on our BridgeWay Families Facebook group!

For more resources and ideas, subscribe to our newsletter.

We are also offering online family programs every day of the week via Zoom—find a program that fits your routine! We offer some programs with ASL interpretation and others in French, Mandarin, and Urdu. Find out more on our Schedules page!