Sometimes you just have to get out of the house. Maybe the kids do, too. Here’s a great idea for burning energy. It requires no equipment except a clear road, and maybe a stroller. Plus, you can take all the kids.
It starts with a walk.
When I had just two little ones, walks were easy. I put them both in the double stroller, and we walked until someone got fussy. As our family grew, the stroller became full. Someone had to walk. This someone usually succeeded in making me miserable.
“I don’t want to walk. I’m tired. This is boring. I want to go home. I caaaaan’t doooo thiiiis.”
So one day I told this particular child that if she would join us on our walk through the neighborhood, I would tell a story. She’s been hooked ever since.
Today, while my mom stayed behind with the napping baby and two-year-old, I took my older two (ages 4 & 5) on a story walk around the neighborhood.
1. If you’re not sure what story to tell, tell one you already know. I started with all the fairy tales. As you get better at this, you’ll find yourself embellishing the story and using funny voices.
2. Tell true stories with your kids as the characters. You can even tell a story recounting that very morning. Small children enjoy hearing about themselves.
3. As your kids get older, they will expect you to be more creative. Keep your stories simple with characters, setting, a problem and solution. This is the jist of the silly story I told today: Dippy, the little blue truck, loves his owner, Bob. Bob takes him everywhere. The two enjoy a trip to California until Dippy’s tummy doesn’t feel good and he won’t turn on. Bob takes him to a mechanic, who sends Dippy to the junkyard. Dippy is very lonely until a junkyard worker named Fred restores him, repaints him, and takes him everywhere.
4. Be prepared to tell the same story over and over. For a long time the only story my children wanted to hear was about a duck, a pig, and a cow who live in an old barn on a farm. Until the tornado comes.
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