I have a five year old entering kindergarten in September, and even though I’ve done this once before – it doesn’t seem to get any easier! As the weeks slip away I’m constantly worried about how well he reads and writes. Kindergarten isn’t fun and games anymore! His school held a kindergarten orientation where they told us what skills our children would need, and how to to help reinforce them over the summer. Of course, literacy is at the top of that list – not just recognizing words, but understanding how stories work and are structured. We read a lot at home, but I am always looking for new ways to inspire a love of reading and to jump start their imaginations. When I heard about eeBoo’s Create A Story Cards I really wanted to try them with my own family and jumped at the opportunity to review them here.
The eeboo Create a Story cards are brightly illustrated cards that reinforce literary skills through interactive storytelling. We used the Back to School pack which depicts woodland creatures and various activities familiar to children – going to school, celebrating a birthday, playing with friends and so on. The bright pictures were enough to interest not only my five year, but my two and seven year olds as well. Gathered around the table we began by allowing each person to arrange the cards and tell a story. At first my almost kindergartner would line up the cards and just explain what he saw in the pictures, so I began asking him questions – Who’s birthday were they celebrating? What was the brown rabbit’s name? – and soon he began adding more and more detail to his story. He named characters and created friendships, before long each depicted animal had quite the list of hobbies, family members and connections to each other – imagination was in full swing!
My seven year old wanted a turn and he too began telling us an elaborate story about these whimsical creatures. Even my two year old got in on the action, lining up cards and describing the scenes on them.
Soon they were playing a game – each choosing a card to add to the story in turn, making up silly events – bunnies who missed a birthday party to go to school on Saturday!
Before we knew it much of the afternoon had passed with us sitting around the dining room table, not an iPad in sight! We began to talk about how a story should have a beginning, middle and end and about creating problems and solutions for our characters. To see my five year old picking up on these concepts so quickly reminded me of how eager children are to learn at this age, especially when we can make learning so much fun.
Have you ever felt an item was special just by the way it looked or felt? That’s the feeling the kids had when they saw the Create A Story Cards. The cards are oversized and sturdy – perfect for little hands, and the illustrations are colorful and eye catching. Honestly, that is my favorite part. We are constantly bombarded with popular licensed cartoon characters making the whismical illustrations captivating and refreshing.
The Create A Story Cards make the perfect “Back To School” activity for preschoolers or kindergartners and since the cards come in five different themes – circus animals, volcano island, mystery in the forest, fairy tale mix up and animal village – there is something to capture’s every child’s imagination! They retail for $9.99 each, and can be purchased through eeBoo online.
eeBoo is a toy company that focuses on high quality, educational toys. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and it is well deserved! Many of their products have been awarded the Oppenheim Best Toy Award, and for good reason. eeBoo’s focus is on quality craftmanship. They commision all of their own artwork, much of it from well known children’s book authors, making their products not only beautiful but unique. They use high quality materials to make durable and safe toys for children, and you can find their products most often in boutiques, museums, bookstores and specialty toy stores – and of course online at their website, www.eeboo.com.