|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
It is a key literacy skill for children to learn to be able to retell a story, remembering the main parts of a story and getting them in the right order. This activity introduces children to a simple story about Ralph using the parachute. The class leader will tell the story and encourage the children to interact in various ways using props and the parachute. This will help them to remember the story. They will then help the instructor to retell the story, trying to remember the main events and sequences. This helps children develop their sequencing skills and ability to recount a story.
(Note all suggest tracks are available for purchase from ITunes)
- A parachute or a large blue sheet (or two) large enough for 16 children to stand around.
- Templates for fish, farm animals and fairies (available from the intranet).
- Ralph goes fishing
- suggested music track is Onedin Line Theme music
- suggested props – cut out fish
- Ralph goes to Outer Space
- suggested music track – Planet Suite (Mars) by Gustav Holst
- suggested props – ball pit balls or similar, stars made from shiny wrapping paper
- Ralph visits a farm
- suggested music track – Carnival of Animals (Finale) by Saint Saens
- suggested props – cut out cows, ducks and sheep x5.
- Ralph the Pirate
- suggested music track – Scotch Cap by Toucan Pirates
- suggested prop – ball pit balls or similar and large 20mm gold sequins (possible sequin supplier http://www.josyrose.com/p-metallic_gold_disk_sequins_24mm-8654.aspx – £2.50 for 250 pieces of gold)
- Ralph in Fairyland
- suggested music track – Sugar Plum Fairy Remix by The Groove Gallery
- suggested prop – cut out coloured of fairies (red, yellow, green and blue) x 5, or use coloured feather to represent fairies.
- Ralph at Christmas
- suggested music track – Anything Christmassy (but ideally without vocals to distract from the story) – Try In Dulci Jubilo – Mike Oldfield.
How it works
Children are encouraged to interact with the story using a parachute and other props. Children learn to listen and work together and learn a sequence of actions through the recounting of a story.
What to do it class
The instructor should learn or read the script and have the props close at hand. Play the backing track, but not too loudly as the children need to be able to listen to what you are saying. Tell each story encouraging the children and adults to join in with the interactive elements.
Use the current format of parachute adventures but do the ‘story’ twice. The second time, ask the children what came next in the story and what item you should put on the parachute.
Adaptation for older/younger children
For younger children keep your language really simple, try to use short and simple sentences for clarity.
What to do in a nursery setting
No adaptation necessary
You can adapt the stories if you like and expand the ideas given, for instance you may want to include fish, sharks, octopus and starfish in your fishing story to expand the children’s knowledge further, and you could also expand the animals in the farm adventure and colours in the Fairyland adventure. You could also include silver and bronze into your pirate adventure as well as gold. Other great props for the top of the parachute are chiffon scarves and other sort of toys which you can work into the adventure in some way. Try also to include a bit of counting into each activity to encourage both rhythm and numeracy skills.