Make storytelling more fun and interesting for kids by using common household items and foods to enhance their overall story experience!
Note to parents: We did this inside on a rainy day. Although the kids had a LOT of fun – there was also a LOT of cleaning up afterwards! Obviously, you might want to consider doing this OUTSIDE!
Here is my Indiana Jones style story that we enhanced with some food props and common household items. Gracie, my 10 year-old, helped me with putting this together and putting the show on for the other three kids. It was a real hit – as we knew it would be. How could something that essentially turned into a parent-sanctioned food-fight not be be a big hit with the kids???
On Father’s Day, I retreated to my new hammock in the early afternoon. Soon I felt myself drifting off onto dreamland…
My first sensation was falling backwards through a rain cloud. Raindrops were striking me from all directions and I saw flashes of lightning dancing through the clouds. The wind was intense – like a river flowing against my direction of travel – which was down!
[4D Effects: Dip hands in water and flick @ audience. Use a fan to create the effect of wind and a flashlight for the occasional lightning flash.]
As I fell further – I soon felt leaves whipping against my face – as I tumbled through the tree canopy towards the ground.
[4D Effects: Use wet wax paper strips – and fling at audience]
I landed with a “Thump” on top of a huge pile of clothes.
[4D Effects: Throw clothes at the audience.]
I heard a lot of commotion and rolled over onto my hands & knees to see what was happening. I was immediately pelted with a barrage of spitballs!
[4D Effects: Pelt audience with small marshmallows.]
I got up to run and escape my assailants. I saw a nearby cave and ran towards it for protection.
I slipped and fell at the entrance of the cave. When I put my hands down on the ground to get up – I realized there was slime oozing out of the cave!
[4D Effects: Put audience hands in a big bowl of Jell-O.]
I got back up as quickly as I could and ran into the cave. It was a difficult going – since the slime had made the enstrance so slippery. About half of my pursuers gave up the chase at that point. The other half doggedly pursued me into the cave!
It was very dark in the cave – but I could detect some faint glowing crystals that helped me see where I was going.
[4D Effects: Use a green glowing flashlight to simulate the glowing crystals.]
I ducked into a dark recess on one side of the cave and held my breath. I soon heard some of my pursuers stumble on past me into the bowels of the cave.
When I felt it was safe – I exhaled and caught my breath. I couldn’t be sure that all of my attackers had passed by me to go deeper into the cave. So very quietly I started to look around. As my breathing slowed and I relaxed a little my eyes started to adjust to the darkness. It was then that I noticed a large hole about a foot above my head. The glow of green coming from there was stronger there than I had seen when I first entered the cave.
I reached up with both hands to hoist myself up into the mouth of the tunnel to get a better look. My hands sank into a deep seething mass of slithering snakes! They were sliding through my fingers and halfway up my wrists!
[4D Effects: Plunge audience’s hands into deep bowls or trays of cooked spaghetti with olive oil.]
Reflexively, I pulled my hands back and stifled a gasp! Instinctively I knew I would have to explore this hole / tunnel as another means to exit the cave and leave my pursuers behind.
I steeled myself and flung my body up into the tunnel! I landed more softly than expected – since the snakes where so deep. I scurried forward a couple of feet to escape the slithering creatures – but the ground remained more spongy than expected. At least there was nothing moving beneath my feet. I felt around the ground with both of my hands. It was slightly slimy and wet, and covered with small orbs. I picked a handful up of the ground covering. They felt like really small eggs. When I brought them closer to my face to inspect them – they looked just like human eyeballs!
4D Effects: Thrust audience’s hands into a large bowl of extra large olives.]
I got up to run! After just a few steps I noticed a small golden statue upon a pedestal, surrounded by hundreds of green glowing crystals. I lunged for the statue – all the while slipping and sliding on those freaky eyeball eggs that were staring at me!
In mid-flight, and seemingly in slow-motion, I stretched out like a wild jungle cat and grasped the golden statue in my hands. The instant my hands made contacted with the statue I felt a penetrating cold cut to the very bones of my hands….
4D Effects: Solid chuck of ice – use a I quart cylinder contain – from something like mozzarella cheese.]
Suddenly, I noticed a spinning vortex of green and purple opening up in the ground right below me and the pedestal upon which the golden statue had rested just a moment before. I felt weightless for a brief moment, followed by an intense feeling of acceleration and heaviness that drew me right into the eye of the spinning vortex….
My fall through this spinning vortex felt like an eternity! There were hurricane winds & rain – but also small and odd particles of a chunky nature that stung slightly as they pelted me in the face as I continued to fall.
[4D Effects: Flick water at the audience, use fans for wind, flashlights for vortex & lightning and crushed potato chips as the “crunchy particles”. You can indulge yourself for about 30 seconds here – as the story does indicate it felt like an eternity!]
My body jerked and I awoke with a start! After a split second – my mind caught up with my body and I was relieved to find myself back in my new hammock – albeit with about half a bag of crushed potato chips surrounding my face and my children standing over me while laughing!
Author’s Note: This was a real hit with our kids. We have done similar things in the past – but this was a little more elaborate than usual. The older kids are already planning sequels to this story….