Introduction: Stories With LEGO Characters
If you have visited the luann2425 Instructables page before, you will know that "Grandma Van" is all about storytelling.
My grandchildren now live in Scotland. I am in the USA. We spend a lot of time making up stories on FaceTime.
One of the easiest ways to do storytelling is with LEGO!
But I try not to use licensed characters. in fact, the main character of today's story is a piece of LEGO seaweed, which we have imagined into a character named "Tickle Bush."
So here are some hints for creating your own characters for storytelling.... with LEGO!
Step 1: Choose a Setting for the Story.
There are many different "Patterns" for storytelling. One that works well over FaceTime is to have the children pick a setting first.
For today's story, we have a new setting: the meadow.
The meadow is just a board painted green. The blue sky is a piece of paper. (I neglected to take a photo of the plain set. Just ignore that bush for now.)
Step 2: Choose the Characters for the Story.
For this story, we have a piece of LEGO seaweed, which, to us, has already been established as a character. It is a TICKLE BUSH. It has been a part of our "Magic Forest" stories in the past. Today, Tickle Bush is the main character for the first story to take place in the meadow.
The other characters are Squirrel, White Rabbit, and Gray Rabbit.
For the Instructables story, we are using generic names. (The characters in our character box have already been named with names chosen by the children, but those names will not be meaningful to a new audience.)
Step 3: Choose Some Props.
For today's story, the props are all FLOWERS!
Step 4: Begin the Story.
One fine day, in a lonely empty meadow, a bush popped up.
It was a tickle bush.
Tickle Bush was all alone in the meadow. She was sad, so she began to cry.
One big tear landed on the ground.
Step 5: Add Props As Needed.
Slowly, slowly, a small flower grew where the tear had landed.
That small flower made Tickle Bush feel very happy.
Step 6: Add More Props. (The More LEGO You Have.... the Better!!)
She smiled a very big smile and sang out: “Tra La La La LA.”
As the lovely song echoed through the meadow, four MORE flowers sprung up across the meadow:
The four new flowers made Tickle Bush even happier.
Step 7: NOTE: in YOUR Stories, Give the Characters Names.
She began to wave her tickle-y branches around as she sang.
“Tra La La La LA.”
And as she sang, more and more flowers appeared in the meadow.
Squirrel came into the meadow.
“What a lovely meadow this is!”he exclaimed.
He walked through the meadow, smelling the flowers.
Eventually, he moved right next to Tickle Bush.
Tickle Bush reached out and
gave Squirrel the tiniest little tickle, right on his tail.
Squirrel chuckled. “This meadow makes me feel so happy.
I just can’t help laughing.
Tee Hee Hee Hee HEE.”
Step 8: (Optional) Photograph As You Go.
White Rabbit and Gray Rabbit came into the meadow. They thought the flowers were lovely. They hopped all over the meadow.
Each time they went by Tickle Bush, she gave them a tiny little tickle.
She tickled White Rabbit on her left ear.
She tickled Gray Rabbit on his right ear.
Step 9: Have a Simple Plot.
Squirrel, White Rabbit, and Gray Rabbit came to the meadow often.
Each time, for some reason, they found themselves laughing.
Tickle Bush continued to do tiny little tickles. The animals never did figure out WHY they always felt like laughing when they were in the meadow.
Step 10: Wrap It Up!
And every time an animal laughed, another flower sprung up
in the meadow.
The meadow was a happy, beautiful place.
And Tickle Bush was very happy to live there.
Step 11: Turn It Into a Little Book!
When I do story time with my grandchildren, we may do six or seven stories in the hour that we spend on FaceTime.
Usually, I turn one or two of those stories into a little book.
(Sometimes I record our session to help my memory... but usually I tell them that "the book MAY be a little different from the story we told together...")
I have a template on my Mac computer that allows me to quickly turn a story into a book.
If you have a Mac, check out my instructions for making your own template:
Step 12: Enjoy Grandma Van's Stories!
I am attaching a PDF version of today's story.
It is a single page storybook that can be made with cutting and folding. I have several other stories of this type on my Instructables page. Check one of them out if you do not know how to fold a "minizine."
if you want to order LEGO by the piece, I recommend Bricklink.com.