My son is almost four years old, which means I need to get used to calling him a pre-k aged child! My very own preschooler is absorbing all he can about our world, and is reading little by little. My husband and I, as certified teachers, are already looking to develop rigorous and fun lessons to do with our kids as they grow.

With perfect timing, Greg at contacted me about showcasing a quick-and-easy lesson plan to help pre-k kids get excited about reading. I’m proud to show you this simple activity which you can do at home with your preschooler!

Story Play

Help your pre-k aged child learn about the various elements of a story by creating a play based on her favorite picture book. In this activity, she’ll build reading skills through making stick puppet characters and a simple setting. Then she’ll arrange her creations and act out the plot.

What You Need:

  • Heavy paper or light-colored, lightweight cardboard
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Craft sticks
  • Spring clothespins
  • Towel or tablecloth

Pre-K Lesson: Story Play! - Real Simple Mama

What You Do:

  1. Choose one of your child’s favorite picture books to turn into a play.
  2. Discuss this book with your child. Who is the story about? What puppets would you need to act out the story? These are the story’s characters.
  3. Help your child make a puppet for each character. She should use the crayons to draw each one on the paper or cardboard. Cut around each character.
  4. Glue each one onto a craft stick to make a stick puppet. Use the clothespins, as needed, to clamp the craft sticks onto the paper while the glue dries.
  5. While your young puppeteer waits for the glue to dry, talk about where the story takes place. Whether it’s in a grassy field or on a snow covered hill, what could you do to help recreate the setting? Towels and tablecloths work well if you’re looking for something that’s quick and easy.
  6. Now it’s time to recreate the story. The events that she acts out make up the story plot. If she isn’t sure where to start, suggest the opening line of the story.
  7. Once she has re-enacted the story, ask your child how she would solve the problem if she were writing the story. Make additional puppets as needed and help her reshape the story to make it her own.

If your child enjoys creating plays based on her favorite books, she might find it fun to combine books. What would happen if the characters from one story found themselves in a different setting or had to solve a different story problem? is a savvy group of parents, teachers, and rock stars working towards a brighter future. Providing reading, writing, and math learning resources to more than 11 million members (with 10,000 new ones every day), more than 50% of whom are teachers, brings education to children in over 20 countries on six continents.