Reggio-Inspired Storytelling: Up-Cycle your Holiday Cards

Uncategorized Jan 06, 2023

How do we get our kids to solve problems and challenges on their own? We practice through play! 

A Reggio-inspired practice honors children's 100 languages of knowing. Play and storytelling are cornerstones of a Reggio-inspired programme, and these child-centred activities are not only motivating, but incredibly powerful teaching tools when it comes to problem solving and navigating themes like sharingturn-takingkindness and friendship.

If you’re like me, and you’re starting to climb out of the “Holiday Aftermath” of stuff… you probably have a collection of holiday photo cards from family and friends.

holiday photo cards

And if you’re also like me, it sort of breaks your heart to throw these away {or recycle them!}

Today, I’m sharing the create way we up-cycle these holiday photo cards into fun learning experiences for your children.

Problem-Solving through Storytelling

 Our children think in concrete ways and make sense of their world through play. One of the best ways we can support our children through inevitable challenges and problems they encounter is by dramatizing or re-enacting these struggles through play. 

Your old holiday cards are a great tool for storytelling. Not only are the faces of family and friends familiar, they will get such a kick out of using them to enact stories and make up playful scenes from everyday life.

Step 1

Have your child cut out the pictures of familiar friends and family. Talk about who is in the pictures, and share special memories you may have about them.

Step 2

Attach the photos to wooden popsicle sticks. You might also glue them onto Dollar store magnets, and use a cookie sheet to tell stories.

Step 3

Make a puppet show.  Outline your story with a beginning, middle and end. Simple is good!

Here’s one of ours:

“Daniel was sad. He had no one to play with.”

“Sam noticed that Daniel was sad. He said: “Daniel, do you want to play with me?”

“Daniel said ‘sure!’ And the two of them ran off to play with their light sabres.

You can also use the puppets to share ideas for conflict resolution.  Simply make up a scenario that has occurred in your home, and have your kids think of possible solutions to the problem.

A story about sharing:

Jennifer was so excited! She got a new toy for her birthday.

“Look, I got a new toy today! I’m so excited to play with it!”

Andy was jealous. He wanted a new toy. He grabbed her toy. 

Jennifer got VERY mad. She started to cry.

What can Jennifer do to solve her problem?

You don’t have to look very far to get good material for simple stories! Just think about the last problem your children had a hard time working through. Dramatizing the story makes it fun and meaningful for the kids, and gives them strategies for how to work through issues going forward.

Math Storytelling

Young children learn math concepts through stories , and using puppets or magnetic pictures to tell math stories is a great way to build their numeracy skills.

You can attach the holiday photo pictures to magnetic stickers (Dollar store). We use these “magnets” for math story problems, using tiny objects as concrete manipulatives. 

Olivia had six presents. She gave three to Baxter. How many does Olivia have now?

I hope you enjoy these ideas on ways to up-cycle those holiday cards! Your kids will love to see familiar faces as they explore math and language in meaningful, fun ways! 

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