30 Days to Hands on Play : Act Out a Story

ActivitiesPreschoolers20 Comments



Today we’re digging into your imaginations (as well as memory!) and bringing a story to real life!

Read a story, or have your child tell it from memory and play the parts.
Bring the story to life!
I recently read about this Comprehension Story Walk at Fairy Dust Teaching that could be adapted to most stories.
I started with the road for our story, The Little Blue Truck (affiliate link).
(Our story really had a road, but this can be used metaphorically as a timeline for the book.)
Then add the characters of the story (you and your kids, or toys that can play the part).

Depending on the story of the book, you’ll want to adjust the activity to it.


Spend (at least) 15 minutes of uninterrupted* time reenacting a favorite story of your child’s! I say a ‘story’ and not a ‘book’ and mean that as a book that has a story line: characters, a plot with a beginning, middle and end.

Take a few minutes to read the story first before starting to act it out. This will get the story fresh in your child’s mind.

When finished reading, ask your child questions about the story and go from there. Asking what happened in the story, with “props” at hand, start explaining the story to each other:

  • Who said “hi” to the Little Blue Truck when he came rolling by?
  • Then who drove by and Honked?
  • What happened to the Big Yellow Dump Truck?
  • Who helped the Dump?
  • How did they get out?

(*uninterrupted : being present with the child. No technology, phones, television, computer, etc. No errands, chores, making dinner, etc.)


  • A favorite story book.
  • Just you and your kids, acting out the parts.
  • A piece of paper with markers. Draw out the story line with your kids.
  • Use toys for characters, objects in the story and so forth.
  • Use your imaginations!

Share your story with us!
Comment here as well as see what others did on The Play Network.

This ‘Challenge’ is meant to get you started, to spark your creativity with your kids (and their creativity!). Your child may not be interested in this specific challenge, and that’s okay! Have another go at a previous challenge, or don’t be afraid to just sit and play with them and see where they lead you.

The Imagination Tree
will have tomorrow’s challenge for Day 15!

A badge for you to share that you’re taking part in the Play Challenge!
Share it and be proud to play!

Its not too late to get started!
See what this challenge is all about and how you can join in:
30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge.
Jump in at any time, or go back and start from the beginning!

Ready for fun with your kids?

Plan the fun with the free kids activities planner! And receive activities every week!

I'm Ready


  1. Jamie @ hands on : as we grow says

    @Magendi – choose a book that you can use to teach C something. Like a animal book and work with sounds. Or if you have animal figurines, have them set up as you're reading the book and show them to her along with making the sounds. Or choose some songs that go with the book and sing along and dance together. C may not be able to retell the story, but with you retelling it with actions or songs, it'll help her understand it even more. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy!

  2. Amanda says

    Magendi – maybe a puppet? Or act out the story of the 3 little bears in their voices using 3 different size bowls (with age appropiate snacks in each) Pretend to sit on 3 different chairs??? You could even make a construction paper headband with bear ears to turn the 2 of you into bears??? Just the thoughts that came into my head =)

  3. Charlotte says

    Hi Magendi,

    some ideas I think could work with your little one:

    act out the story with puppets or teddies as a little show for them (you might feel silly but I'm sure little one would love it)

    pick a story with lots of sounds and use instruments to play along

    crazy voices and singing usually impresses my little ones

    record yourself reading the story to them and play/watch it back together

    you could find a story about a train/car and let them run a toy train across the pages as you read (might also work with an animal story and some little figures)

    …and in desperate times I have been known to use post-it notes in a favourite story book to make a 'lift-the-flap' style game!

    Good luck,
    Charlotte xo

  4. Amanda says

    Jamie we must have been writing our comments at the same time! I am excited about this challenge and didn't even think of including music =) Maybe my 5 year old can help make up a song to retell the story while we act it out. @ Anna – I'll have a hard time choosing too and have just decided to let the kids choose =) We'll see what they come up with!

  5. Jamie @ hands on : as we grow says

    Amanda – I love that idea for your 5 year old! I'll be curious to see what song they make up! Haha! The words alone will be awesome, but the tune will be really cute!

    I'd love to know what story everyone chooses so please share!!

  6. Rachel says

    We took part in this activity today. My two loved it, although I did most of the drawing and the sticking. Jemima 14 months wanted to be like the Hungry Caterpillar and decided to put pit's of paper etc in her mouth. Zeb 2.5 months, played with the toy caterpillar and acted out eating some of the drawings and the wooden fruit. Then he became the Butterfly and did all the hand motions. We had a handful of grapes which we all ate too.I did take some pictures but not sure how to upload them on here! All in all this took up 40 mins of fun time.

  7. Jamie says

    We acted out "ten in the den" with our own 10 different kinds of stuffed animals. The 'little one' telling everyone to roll over was a cow. The funniest was a shark rolling off the love sac. My son totally loved counting down from 10 as he pushed each animal out of the bed! Thanks for the idea!

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