Prep: None / Activity Time: 5-6 Minutes

This simple take-along activity can help you become a storyteller no matter where you are. Just pull out a photo card and describe what you see. You might even make up a funny story or use two photo cards to weave a tall tale!

  • handmade photo card library:
    • index cards
    • glue or tape
    • old magazines or store circulars
  • sealable sandwich bag

Step 1: Create your own photo cards with a stack of blank index cards and photos or pictures from old magazines. Cut out photos of interesting people, places and things such as pets, fruits and vegetables, or faces with emotions. Glue or tape a photo onto each index card.  

Step 2: Put your cards into a sealed sandwich bag and put them in your purse, diaper bag or car.    

Step 3: When you are waiting in line, at a doctor’s appointment, or sitting in traffic, pull out a photo card and ask your child to describe the item. For example, you might say, “What do you see in this picture?”

Step 4: Give information about what the item is, how it’s used and where you’d find it, and tell a story about your personal connection with the item.


“This is a picture of a red wagon. It has four black wheels and a long handle. One little friend can sit in the wagon, and another friend or grown-up has to pull the handle and take him for a ride. There are wagons at the park. One day, I saw the kids having wagon races at the park. When you get a little bit older, you’ll be able to have wagon races with your friends too!”

Step 4:  Ask your toddler some questions about the photo, and respond to his answers.


You: “Do you think you would like to ride in a red wagon?”

Toddler: “Yes.”

You: “Would you like to go fast or slow in the wagon?”