While I was editing and posting the pictures for last night's family blogging, SteelyKid came in and said "Daddy, we watched [indistinct name] today, and they created their own story on the show. But I don't know how to do that."
"Sure you do, honey," I said. "You create stories all the time. You were telling me a story last night, something about bears in a cave. You can create stories if you want to."
That cheered her up, and after a little bit of negotiation about who was going to write on what, she created the following story:
That's a SpongeBob activity book that she got from I-don't-remember-where, with her story written upside down along the bottom of the page (the picture's rotated to put it at the top). And, okay, maybe those don't look like actual words, but she's three-and-a-half. And anyway, how do you know she hasn't just given you the index number you need to calculate the story from π?
The story as she related it to me was something like:
Once upon a time, Red Riding Hood was walking through the scary woods. She met a big bad wolf, but he was a friendly wolf. So she went to the wolf's house, because she was bringing him his flashlight. Because it was dark outside.
Again, the plot could use a little work, and it's not entirely clear what the conflict is, and blah, blah, blah. Again, she's three and a half.
As I said at the beginning, she does this pretty regularly, which is a whole lot of fun to watch. When I can, I try to transcribe them onto Twitter; if you like this sort of thing, you should follow me there, where I'm @orzelc. The dog's Twitter feed has been quiet of late, but I'll probably fire that up more now that classes are done: @queen_emmy.
Also, lest you think she's leaning in an artsy direction with her storytelling, she does have an interest in science, too. Last night at bedtime, she asked for an additional stuffed animal in her bed, so I handed her a plush dinosaur. Then I had to get out the dinosaur book so we could identify the species. Of course, being a baby toy, it wasn't remotely realistic, but I got her to agree that it was a baby Janenschia, so all was well...
This morning in the car on the way to daycare she asked me if we could go to a deep dark wood and see a ghost, just one, that she wouldn't be scared of.
(I told her that there weren't a lot of deep dark woods nearby so we'd have to think about making a special trip sometime.)
Also the last time I read her the dinosaur book she corrected my pronunciation of some of the trickier names.
Very cool. We've been sharing stories, oral and written, with our kids since they were itty-bitty and it's made a huge difference in their creativity, understanding of the world, curiosity, and ability to cope (especially useful for long car rides).
Great story, SteelyKid!