Little actors can stretch their story-telling skills as they prepare and learn the elements of a good story. First create their characters with the mix’n match wooden animals with different facial expressions on the front and back as well as outfits. Add accessories like a scarf, cape, apron, camera or canteen, to take the story in new directions, then choose the setting from treehouse, city, jungle, bedroom or cafe. Kids can even draw their own backdrop and clip it on the back board supported by the box which has become the stage. Open the pretend curtains and the show begins. These props encourage story telling that includes the language of emotion as kids can change the facial expression according to what happens in their story. Is cat confused or content? Is the cow sad, excited or happy? Is the raccoon scared or silly? As children learn to express their feelings through characters, they can better relate to others and regulate their own emotions. In a classroom, kids could present their performance that could spark a conversation about when they experienced the same emotions that their characters did. How did you feel? What could you do? How could you help others? Silly Street Character Builders is a wonderful set for home, classroom or therapy setting to build speech and language and social/emotional skills through storytelling and pretend play.

Available at Mindware. Click here