Review of Chatterbox Planet story magnets (September 2016) by the Little Panda’s!
We were so excited to be offered the opportunity to trial a story magnet box from Chatterbox Planet. It landed on our doormat in excellent time and condition and we could not wait to get started.
When we opened the box, it was packaged so beautifully, with all the essentials readily available – a mini whiteboard, a magnetised whiteboard pen and rubber, a set of coloured magnet tiles and a great list of ideas to get us started.
We love stories at Panda HQ and we especially love making up our own stories. However, in recent times, there has been a noticed decline in storytelling amongst families. We live in a time pressured society where we believe as parents that we MUST read the book sent home in the bookbag, or the book at the library, and we MUST read all the words correctly, using this thing called phonics to help us???? (See Panda-Edcuation (phonics) for more details on this)
However, Chatterbox Planet are helping us to return to old fashioned, imaginative, open-ended, storytelling, where there is no sense of failure, but, instead, an immense sense of fun.
So, what do you do? Well, that’s the point! It’s up to you how you use this resource. You don’t have to tick boxes and follow rules. Just choose a tile or more and make up a story. It’s that simple! Encouraging interaction with the grown ups or taking it to a quiet place and immersing themselves, it’s just as much fun.
The best feature is the versatility; the fact that it’s small enough to travel with you wherever you go – plane, car, train – a great activity travel pack. We added our own pencil case full of items to go with ours – objects from around the house that became part of the story/characters. My eldest daughter even drew her own pictures that we cut out and laminated to add to the pack (though you could just back them onto card, e.g.: from a cereal packet)
If your Little Panda’s struggle to decide on their own ideas, fear not, there are some wonderful examples provided and also on the Chatterbox planet website (www.chatterboxplanet.com) in order to inspire creativity.
Most importantly, don’t worry about having to write the story. Storytelling verbally is a vital skill. If you, as the adult, wish to scribe the story, that’s fine, but don’t feel that the stories have to be written just because a pen is provided!
Mostly, thank you to Chatterbox Planet for the opportunity to trial your pack. I think that the story magnets are a fantastic resource.
Written by the creator of www.panda-education.co.uk