There are always times when your child claims boredom. There are also moments when you are looking for something educational, yet fun and simple to do as a family. With little materials and even less preparation, you can easily entertain and educate your child, plus, it can be fun for everyone involved.

The whole family can play this simple game while exploring the creative side of your children. Add a little touch and help kids learn to read.

You know those magazines that you are done reading and unsure what to do with them? Save them. They make a fun family game.

Sit with your children and look at the pictures. Anything that may look interesting, cut them out and lay them in a pile. Use as many pictures or giant words (header words in large print) as possible. For example: If it is a picture of a book, cut it out. Even if it is an action, such as: washing dishes, cut it out. Try to get as many different pictures as possible with a lot of variety.

Now, here is where you can get elaborate or simple. You are going to use these pictures to let your child make their own story. So, you can get a felt storyboard or even a magnetic board. Or, you can just use the kitchen table. Anything flat will work.

Let your child arrange the pictures any way they wish. They don’t need to use all of them, just as many as they want.

After they have laid out the pictures, have them make up a story. If certain pictures don’t fit in their story, have them remove them. If they find a different picture to add another element to their story, let them add them.

The more pictures you have, the more creativity will come from your child.

After your child gets the hang of it, start using the larger words you cut from the magazines and have them use them as well. They can place them under the picture or use them instead of a picture to enhance their story.

For fun, let the child arrange pictures and you make up the story. Then, you lay out the pictures and have your child tell the story.

If the story is especially good, get out some construction paper and glue the pictures to the paper. If your child can write, have them write out the story under the pictures. If your child can not write, have them dictate the story to you. They have just made their own book. And, this will probably be their very favorite bedtime story!

This craft project is easy to use and vary, depending on the ability of your child. You can get overly involved with them or you can teach them how to do it and use it as a quiet time activity when you need to get a project done.

Either way, this is a fun game for everyone. It is easy to prepare, easier to use, no mess, no fuss. And, it is fun and educational. What more can you ask of magazines you were going to throw away?


Chris Lowrey




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