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.