Following on from the previous blog post containing five ways to enjoy and combine children’s art and creations with storytelling  (which can be found here) we have six more ways to incorporate children’s art and creative pieces into storytelling.

Storytelling with children's art and creative pieces

1. Pop Up Lands

These creations have always been a favourite with my children and are also very much enjoyed in my art classes.

Picture 114 pop up fairy land

The pop up lands can be easily modified to suit children’s different interests -the  canvas could feature an outer space theme, an underwater land, a castle, teepees, a beach scene, farm scene, or even something more abstract and open to interpretation. No matter what canvas is presented, children can use their imaginations to create unique scenes.

To make these pop up lands you will need a sheet of cardboard. Draw some outlines to create a scene. Use something like a stanley or exacto knife to cut around the images drawn, but be sure to leave the base of each image intact. The base needs to stay attached so that the image can pop up.  On the canvas below I have drawn a ‘clothes line” on the right so that the children can design and display costumes for the inhabitants of their land/place.

Picture 028 pop up land canvas

Another blank canvas awaiting transformation and an injection of imagination and creativity.

Picture 033 pop up land canvas

Some outer space pop up lands created in my art classes:

Picture 132  outer space pop up land

Some sand was added to each of these as well as some threaded beads around one of the planets below. I love the idea of threading beads and wrapping them around some of the pop up pieces.

Picture 004 pop up outer space

Another creative pop up land created in my art class. It is wonderful to see such creative use of the resources and materials provided, I particularly like the use of the pipe cleaners to create coral.

Picture 137 Underwater pop up land

Younger children can also create a very special pop up land of their own. Just add some colouring pencils and stickers.

Picture 141  pop up farm scene

Once you have a completed pop up land, add some characters and you are ready to use your creation as a fun prop for some stories filled with adventure.

Picture 157 pop up farm scene

2. Contact covered blocks

Picture 073 creative block play

Fun characters, transport, housing and scenes can be created with contact covered blocks.

To create with contact covered blocks you need contact, craft supplies and a little time to prepare the wooden blocks.

To prepare the wooden blocks, cover them in contact with the sticky side facing out. I secured the contact with a small piece of tape.

Possible materials to stick onto the contact covered blocks could include: wool, pieces of coloured foam (older children could cut these pieces into desired shapes), feathers, coloured pom poms, buttons, coloured match sticks, straws, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, ribbon and pieces of lace.

Picture 020 materials for contact blocks

This a great activity for older children to use their imagination and manipulate the resources. Pipe cleaners can be made into all sorts of shapes and beads can be threaded onto them for a special effect. Pieces of fabric and foam can be cut into any desired shape.

Picture 022 creating with contact blocks

Why not create some characters and a scene related to a particular theme, celebration, season or holiday.

A festive contact covered block scene created prior to Christmas last year.

Picture 182 Christmas block scene

3. Blocks and Props

Add a basket of props (which might contains items such as natural resources, craft supplies, recyclable materials or a combination of these). Invite children to create a block construction and include some of the pieces into their creation.

Picture 160  beach block play with props

This could make a wonderful scene for a story to take place.

Picture 187 block beach and props

4. Small World Scenes

Picture 156 Sensory tile fairy land

To create the base, cover a piece of card with fabric, or wrap yarn around it.

For the fairy land featured above, my daughter and I created and decorated a paper bag tree fit for a fairy land. Next we added some mushroom houses. For these, we used the outer cases of some matchboxes to create the base and then some coloured plastic eggs for the top. We stuck some sparkly paper onto the top of the plastic eggs. A bed for a fairy was also made out of a matchbox and the final touch was some paper flowers that we made.

Small world scenes are another popular activity in my art classes. When we make these, I invite the children to create a paper bag tree and use the materials on hand to decorate their tree so it complements the theme of their small world. Children then use the materials on hand to create a house, or some kind of shelter for the inhabitants of their place as well as other features for the small world.

Some small world scenes created in my art classes:

Picture 093 sensory tile land

Picture 116 Underwater sensory land

Either make, or use some characters you already have on hand for the small world and let the storytelling begin.

5. Play dough story book scenes

Picture 217 play dough scene on paper

Choose some coloured paper to create a backdrop. Then use play dough to create a scene and characters that could be used to tell  a story.

That’s a wrap! Ten ways to incorporate art and creative pieces into storytelling. See the previous blog post which can be found here for five more ideas.