Hello again everyone. My name is Alison. By now, a few of you might have read the one of the stories that my son (4 years old) and I made up about My son and Mochi’s imaginary adventures (involving things like jellybean fueled rockets). I purchased Mochi a few months ago as a way to encourage STEM learning and coding in an age-appropriate and screen-free way, but soon noticed that, with a bit of encouragement and a few guiding questions, I could get my son to make up stories about adventures he and Mochi might have. I have worked as a children’s librarian and elementary teacher and I’m always looking for ways to work more literacy into our play. Then, I decided to take my son’s stories one step further by writing them down and designing a story mat to go with each story. Sometimes we make up a story “from scratch” and sometimes I write a “mad libs” style story ahead of time for my son to complete. For the story mat, sometimes I draw/color, sometimes my son draws/colors, and sometimes we print out some clip art. Usually, it’s a combination of all three.
So far, we have written stories about the recent SpaceX/NASA launch and a picnic adventure. For his most recent story, I wrote a “mad libs” style story and structured it in a way that I hoped would encourage a theme of invention, tinkering and making. Myf son’s final story did indeed have a bit of tinkering in it in the form of a “little red wagon” powered with wind power and old kites, and sporting lots of extra tires from a junkyard next door to us. Apparently, an evil witch had stolen our car (which is why I couldn’t take Mochi and my son to the swimming pool and they had to use the modified wagon). I’ll have to remember that excuse the next time I need to borrow my husband’s car because I can’t find my car keys. Do you think he’ll buy it?
Anyway, here is our story. I’ll leave out the “mad lib” notations, for ease of reading. And I’d like to encourage all of you to explore the literacy building powers of your own Mochi toys and your child’s imagination. Happy storytelling!!
My son and Mochi’s Little Red Wagon Adventure
Once upon a time, there was a four- year- old boy named (my son’s name). One hot, hot Summer day, my son called his friend Mochi, on his lion phone. “Let’s go to the swimming pool to cool off,” said (my son’s name). “Ok,” said Mochi. The two friends went into the garage, but they didn’t see the car anywhere. “I think an evil witch stole it,” said (my son’s name). “That’s ok,” said Mochi. “I bet we can use your little red wagon.” (my son’s name) and Mochi decided to make the wagon fancier and faster by using some things from the junkyard next door. They walked to the junkyard, where they found lots of old rusty tires, some colorful kites, and a mechanical man to help them put it all together. Luckily, as soon as my son and Mochi’s fancy (and fast) wagon was finished, the wind picked up. My son and Mochi jumped into the wagon and headed off to the swimming pool.