A lively adaptation of a traditional folktale, we love this app for its bilingual option and abundant animations that will keep children finding out more about the tower, the animals, and their doings with each use.
Prepare to use the app by introducing this activity.
Folktales From Around the World. Tower Dearest is a Russian folktale. Share other stories from Russia with your child, such as this collection of Russian fairytales. Think about the folktales you and your child know and enjoy. Are you able to find out from what country they originated? Make this your child’s detective work at your local library one day. Even if your child is unsuccessful, they will learn something about research and folktales in the process!
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities.
- Observe.Ask your child to tell you what they notice about the story as you go through the app together. For example, do they notice the repeating lines of the story? The growing size of each animal (from a mouse to a bear!)? The activity each animal partakes in? This activity will hone their skills as a reader and observer while they engage with the story on an even deeper level.
- Extend the Story.Ask your child to imagine beyond the story told in the app. Who lived in the tower before the Burrow Mouse arrives? Why did they leave? Where is each animal coming from? What were they doing before they found the tower? What does the inside of the tower look like? How many stories can your child find within this single story?
- What If?Can your child picture living with six of their friends? What would be fun about the arrangement? Can they predict any challenges they might face living together? Where would they like to live if they were in this situation?
Extend the app experience with these real life activities.
- Storytime.Tower Dearest is a cumulative folktale, a type of story in which the actions and/or characters build and repeat. Find some other cumulative tales to read with your child. Check out this list for some ideas of titles to look for!
- Crafty Puppet Show.Cumulative folktales are wonderful stories to act out because all of the repetition makes the stories easier to remember for the storyteller. Help your child make some simple puppets and sets using construction paper or card stock and popsicle sticks. Have them draw and color each character, and any set elements they would like to include—perhaps a standing tower and a collapsed tower. Then cut out the pieces and glue one or two popsicle sticks to the back of each one, depending on size. Spread this activity out over multiple sessions if your child does not want to do them all in one sitting, or make it a family (or playdate!) affair. Once the puppets are ready, spread a tablecloth over a table, draping one side to reach the floor and hide the puppeteer behind it. Now it is show time! Remind your child it does not matter if the words are not exactly right. The point is to have fun and tell the story in their own way!
- Build and Pack A Tower!Encourage your child and friends or siblings to build a fort or tent to act as their tower. How many friends or family members can they fit inside before it collapses? Take some pictures along the way as this activity is sure to get some squeals and giggles. Make sure they count! When their tower finally gives way, ask them to think about what would help them fit more people: more space? Different materials? A second floor?