Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Silhouettes storytelling - enrich your child's storytelling experience

This simple idea came to me when I bought a pack of black card in the poundshop last week. 
We read every evening, this is an essential element of our evening routine. 
The Silhouettes Storytelling can be a great variety to everyday reading experience. It helps develop child's storytelling skills, memory, imagination. 

All you need is a lightbox (and you don't even need an expensive one! Just use a plastic box with christmas lights inside - it works great!) and pre-cut silhouette shapes. The shapes don't have to be detailed and perfect - just believe in your child's imagination! Think of a story you would like to tell and cut out main characters and props. I chose "The Three Little Pigs" - well-known and liked by Mr Frog. 

And Mr Frog really loved it! We sat together in the dark room looking at the changing silhouettes while I read the story and set silhouettes on the light box. He was so happy to join in...well, he actually told me the story again when I finished :) I was surprised how well he can retell the story, with language he used and creative modifications he made in the story! 

I made another set of silhouettes - just random shapes that can be used in any story. Mr Frog used them to create own story (that was a story about two boys woken up at night by a snake, who took them to Africa. They met some animals and had lunch with Masai, but they didn't have any pudding so boys travelled to Asia to have some sweet sushi...pretty good isn't it?;) 

This evening storytelling experience can engage a child (and parent) for a long time! It helps develop child's language, listening skills, imagination, creative storytelling skills and memory - so much learning in it!
Make sure you use a well-known story for the beginning and prepare set of random silhouettes for child to create own stories as well. Encourage child to join in - set the scene, ask questions what will happen next. And you can have a special journal to write down child's own stories to read them together later.


  1. These are absolutely lovely! I like your idea of using a plastic box with Christmas lights too- very frugal!

    1. Thank you Clarissa :) My son enjoys every story I change into silhouettes :)

  2. I totally believe in using story props, but this is just a whole new dimension! I come from Malaysia, and back home, this kind of silhouette story telling is called "wayang kulit". Thanks for such an awesome idea!! Sharing and pinned!

  3. Hello there....im also from Malaysia...yup...we called this 'wayang kulit' and sadly it is not the younger generation cup of tea nowadays...but seeing you doing this alteration here really inspires me...