Children love balloons, which of course explains why a children’s birthday party is rarely complete without a bunch of brightly colored, helium-filled bubbles of kid delight straining to escape their earthly tethers.
And especially for younger kids, balloons make for great storytelling fun. Not only can they fly anywhere, but it’s easy to fantasize their taking a kid or two along for the ride. For example, you might tell a story about a child named Charlotte who receives a magical red balloon for her birthday, so big and strong that it can lift her up and carry her off to experience all sorts of amazing adventures. Indeed, the red balloon will take Charlotte anywhere she wants to go—as long as she remembers to say please.
Imagine now that Charlotte asks the red balloon to whisk her off to the zoo before opening time so that she can visit all of her favorite animals in private. Assuming your story is great fun, Charlotte may even ask to hear it over and over. Fortunately, long before you get bored it will be easy to have a big wind come up blowing them both off to a new adventure.
Another advantage to balloon stories is that they are so easy to tell that they are an excellent choice for encouraging children to begin telling their own stories. For example, you might begin story time by asking “Where should the red balloon take Charlotte tonight?” If your child answers “to the beach,” “to the high mountains” or “to a fairy castle” you can then ask, “OK, but what happens when they get there?” Assuming your child is excited to tell you, her storytelling career has just achieved lift off.
Help Getting Started: In the Create a New Story section of JakesTales.org you’ll find the first few paragraphs of The Adventures of Reddy the Balloon. Have fun finishing it.