3 Ways To Expand Picture Book Stories

Posted on: 27 October 2021

Picture books are a great way to introduce children to reading while providing fun visuals. They can also become an ideal family tradition. With all of the benefits, one of the biggest downfalls of a picture book is the length. Even though the books are short and can be read again over and over, your child may seek out more content.

Instead of moving on to the next book, learn about some ways to expand picture book stories with your children. Each idea will help expand on their creative mind and lead to more interest in stories and reading.

1. Plushie Puppet Shows

The colorful characters featured in picture books are often made into fun products like a plushie. When you shop, look for sets that include both. For example, a giraffe plushie and children's book set would feature a stuffed animal that matches the book character.

Once you collect some of the plushies, you can expand on a story by staging a puppet show. Give the characters voices and emulate ways the character would act after the events of the book. Typically, you can take the lead on the first puppet show and then see what your child comes up with. Mix in other stuffed animals and props to get creative with the adventures.

2. Book Sequels & Series

Children's books often feature characters and stories that continue on. When you shop for a children's picture book set, look for any sequels or spin-offs that feature the same characters. The sequels are ideal for reading back to back and will continue the same story arc. Through sequels, children really get to know characters, learn their story arcs, and expand on the world.

If the series has a lot of titles, then every few months, you can add a new title to the collection.

3. The "What If?" Game

After you finish a story, keep a child's mind fresh and active by playing a "What If?" game. The game gives a child the chance to think critically and come up with unique ways to expand the plot. In the game, you simply ask what if questions related to the characters and plot. For example, you could ask "What if the giraffe got stuck inside a cave?".

Encourage creative questions, silly questions, and thought-provoking questions. The whole purpose is to analyze the story and and understand the plot, themes, and characters. Take turns going back and forth with questions and focusing a lot on each book.

Go over the various options with your child and see what ways they want to expand a story. You may find a lot of new traditions along the way.