(This post was created for the Hub and can be found here)
Between my colleague’s excellent post and observing a Ready! for Kindergarten class last week I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I can do to get my 3 year old ready for Kindergarten in a couple of years. One idea I gathered from the class was to encourage my child to become an author/illustrator and create his own book. My son and I have always loved books and read often, but for some reason had never sat down to create our own story. So when I heard this…I knew what we would be doing over the weekend!
We are both big fans of the “Elephant & Piggie” series by Mo Willems, so it was a natural choice for us when thinking about what our story would be about…we could create our own “Elephant & Piggie” adventure! I asked my son what he wanted our story to be about. His first suggestion was already an “Elephant & Piggie” book. So he thought longer and quickly came up with an original idea that sounded great…Elephant and Piggie were going to go to a “popcorn show”!
Typically when we read the “Elephant & Piggie” books he will “read” the parts for Piggie and I read the parts for Elephant Gerald. So naturally, this is how our story went as well with him drawing and giving words to Piggie and me responsible for Gerald. We took turns and had lots of fun coming up with the ideas for each page. I was very impressed with his ability to understand the natural flow of a story. He remembered what we had written on the previous page and picked the next step that the story would follow. He understood that the characters needed to interact with each other and helped me come up with what my character would say in response to his character and vice versa.
This was one of the most fun activities I have ever done with my son! Not only did we get to bond over our mutual love of “Elephant & Piggie”, but we used our imaginations to come up with a new adventure. He played the role of author and illustrator, used his creative thinking to come up with new ideas, and followed the natural ebb and flow of a story with an introduction, plot and conclusion. You can bet there will be more new adventures from our version of “Elephant & Piggie” in the future!
This is fatherhood…