Storytelling activities for children play an important role in early literacy and language development.
There are many ways to incorporate storytelling into fun activities.
But having some magnetic story boards will make it so much easier (and fun).
I love the Magnetivity sets from Melissa and Doug for several reasons!
What Are The Magnetivity Sets All About?
*This article WAS NOT sponsored by Melissa & Doug but does contain affiliate links*
These magnetic play sets are a novel idea (recommended for both boys and girls ages 4-10) that mix the fun of blocks with the creativity of a doll house into one amazing package and are a perfect example of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) toy!
There are 12 different sets to choose from!
Every box comes with many double sided illustrated magnetic panels.
Each square/triangle panel is surrounded by a magnetic strip.
They all connect to each other very well.
What’s In Each Set?
Each set varies with the amount of panels and magnetic accessories that you get, but they all come with several square and triangular panels that can be attached to each other via their magnetic edges.
A variety of images/story scenes are on each side of the panels allowing for many different types of stories to be told.
In addition, you will also receive several characters that stand upright as well as 2 dimensional magnets (accessories) that adhere well to the panels and the upright characters.
Storytelling Activities Preschoolers & School Aged Children Will Love
Each of these story play sets focuses on a different theme, therefore each one is it’s own storytelling activity.
But if you have more than one of these sets you can combine them to come up with some really creative and wacky stories!
Some specific skills a child can learn by playing with these magnetic dollhouses include (in addition to storytelling and story recall):
♦ giving and following directions
♦ prepositions (on, under, beside, behind, off, between)
♦ asking and answering questions
♦ early literacy
I would have loved to have had one of these sets while I was practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
The language building possibilities are endless!
If you are a Speech-Language Pathologist you will not regret adding one (or a few) of these sets to your toolbox!
Now let’s take a quick look at a few of my favorite sets.
I will also add some additional storytelling ideas that work well with these sets.
Our House with Vehicle
This is a 100 piece set that includes a car, 3 magnetic play figures, 16 two sided story building panels and 80 magnetic accessories.
Some of the things you will find on the panels and magnets are a living room, kitchen, bedrooms, pool, as well as pets, outfits and more.
If you want to add to the storytelling possibilities consider expanding the Our House magnetic play set with your own paper city and characters.
Head over to Made By Joel for some great templates!
Pet Center with Rescue Vehicle
This set includes a rescue vehicle, 13 double sided magnetic panels, 7 magnetic characters (people and pets) and 74 magnetic accessories.
Add some extra characters to your story with some toilet paper roll people!
A Little Learning For Two has some simple instructions for how to make these.
Here are 2 short videos of my kids setting up their Pet Portrait Studio by Build and Imagine.
The Build and Imagine sets are no longer available as they were bought out by Melissa and Doug.
However, this set is very similar to the Melissa and Doug Pet Center.
They were being shy and didn’t want to talk on camera.
So unfortunately you won’t be able to hear some of the great stories they came up with.
Can you see how these sets can help with fine motor skill development?
Some of the magnetic accessory pieces are quite small and stick well to the panels.
So it will take some fine motor skills to manipulate these.
This is also why I wouldn’t recommend this toy for children under the age of 4.
Those little pieces can quickly end up in a toddler’s mouth!
School with School Bus Vehicle
This set 106 piece set comes with a school bus, 6 people with stands, 16 double sided magnetic panels and 83 magnetic accessories.
There are many different “classrooms” including an auditorium and gym!
For some extra fun, try making story stones.
Add some more characters and props to the school.
Happy Hooligans has some great instructions to help get you started.
The Underwater Adventure set pairs well with the Pet Center and Pirate Cove for even more story lines.
But all the sets work well on their own too.
This is one of the smaller sets and includes 55 pieces.
There are two upright wooden dolls and 10 double sided building panels. And don’t forget about the magnetic accessories. There are 41 of those as well.
It also comes with a submarine!
A great extension activity for this set could be to make a mini magnetic fishing set!
All you need are some small sticks (or a thin piece of doweling), string, a small magnet, paper clips and a few sea creatures cut out of paper.
Attach the string to the stick and the magnet to the string. Add a paper clip to each sea creature.
Cast your fishing rod and reel in the sea creatures when the magnet touches the paper clip!
Pizza & Ice Cream Shop with Food Truck
This is one of my favorite sets!
It comes with 105 pieces including 13 double sided magnetic panels, 4 people with stands, food truck vehicle and 87 magnetic accessories.
This restaurant themed magnetic play set allows children to make their very own pizza parlor and ice cream shop!
Try adding some more props and characters with a storytelling basket!
The Medieval Castle contains 82 pieces!
You will receive 14 magnetic building panels, 60 magnetic accessories and 5 magnetic characters with stands.
Some of the scenes include an animal stable, throne room, weaving room, bedroom, a dining room, and a working drawbridge!
Just imagine all the stories that can be told with The Medieval Castle!
Hospital with Ambulance
Kid love playing hospital and doctor, so this set should be appealing to all kids!
This hospital themed set comes with 83 pieces.
It includes 1 ambulance, 4 play figures with wooden stands, 16 magnetic panels and 62 magnetic accessories.
Every Parent, Teacher and Speech-Language Pathologist Should Invest In The Magnetivity Sets!
These magnetic play sets are so simple yet extremely effective for open ended learning, pre-literacy skill building, fine motor skill development, speech-language development, problem solving, social skills and much more!
Children can get so creative with these sets. For example, they can try stacking panels to make a really tall tower.
As you can see, storytelling activities for children don’t have to be complicated or require intricate lesson plans.
Your child will see this as a fun toy and will have no idea how many new skills they are learning!
The Melissa & Doug Magnetivity sets get two thumbs up from me!