Mike Stories

Mike Stories are stream-of-consciousness oral stories we tell in our family. It all started over a year ago when Janet was trying to console Jackson after some sort of skinned knee or such incident. She sat our little boy on her lap and told a story about a little boy named ‘Mike’ (everyone in the family knows it’s Jackson but we all suspend disbelief).

We now have close to a hundred Mike Stories in our iTunes library. The kids listen to them every night as they go to bed. I’ve thought about sharing them on a blog, or putting them in the iTunes store as a podcast, but have resisted doing this because I just can’t see how anyone else could find these random stories of ours interesting. They are often nonsensical, and full of so many in-the-know jokes to be utterly irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t use our bathtub. Besides, perhaps it’s one of those things that are just for us.

Some of our titles include:

Mike’s Rainy Day

Mike Meets Winnie the Pooh

Mike Goes to School

Mike’s Trip to the Chinese Mall

You get the idea. Esoteric really doesn’t cover it.

If you’re looking for a new project/activity to do as a family I highly recommend this. Apart from being massively (and unexpectedly) gripping for the kids, we’ve also seen the impact they are having on literacy. Because of our Mike Stories, my children think it is normal to be authors of texts. They don’t see themselves only as consumers, but creators as well. In addition, you wouldn’t believe how much Mike Stories are enhancing my children’s vocabulary, understanding of narrative, and oral speaking skills. The greatest thing of all being that serendipity really brought all of it on. We didn’t plan this. There is no curriculum. We just go with the flow. It’s more jazz than classical.

Bring some spice to your bedtime routine and try this out. It’s pretty cool when your kid says his favourite author is a member of his own family, and when you collectively develop a whole parallel narrative to the life you lead together.

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4 Comments

  1. Great minds… we do this too. Our son has a toy bi-plane named (rather imaginatively) Brian! If he’s having a rough time sleeping we tell Brian stories: Brian and the Christmas tree; Brian in space and our latest story Brian flies Yummy (our deceased goldfish) to the Ocean. No matter how bad these stpories actually are Nathaniel loves them!

  2. My name is Rodney Patrick. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading this post. I think that this idea of story telling is a great idea. Not only does it give the kids an opportunity to vocabulary and oral speaking skills, but it also allows kids to expand their creativity and imagination.

  3. Wow, Royan. What a great idea. We tell stories together – like Denny the Dragon Raised by Turkeys or Cloud City (a long, convoluted story about a kid who was supposed to live in the clouds but was dropped off on the earth). They meander. We move back and forth on decisions made. Each one becomes a collective story.

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