Nal’ibali travelled to North West province last week to offer our Storyplay training in Phokeng. The Nal’ibali Storyplay workshops are highly interactive and fun. We focus on experiential learning, as we integrate stories and play in an informally structured early literacy curriculum that the practitioners attending will themselves offer to children.  All the related talking, thinking and other activities center around the powerful processes of story reading and telling, as well as writing down personal stories and acting out each other’s stories.


The Magic Carpet in action: play-acting stories at Nal’ibali’s workshop


Much of this happens on the Magic Carpet, an imaginative space where adults interact with children as they come to know and explore stories. The workshop provides valuable information and activities to address early literacy and book behaviour. We inspire, motivate, and provide information as well as practical ideas that will assist teachers to approach literacy in a fun, easy and enjoyable way in their classrooms.

The training took place over four days and 31 practitioners from 24 early learning sites attended. Time was spent discussing the details and components of how young children learn to read and write in multi-lingual settings. Then, the real fun began – we made our own books, told stories and acted out these stories. When adults do this, they come to recognise and appreciate how significant informal learning takes place. We debated, we agreed, we disagreed and we laughed.


Who says learning isn’t fun? Here are some of the works of art produced through Nal’ibali’s interactive Storyplay workshops.


Many of the women at the workshop came to us asking if they could invite more women, as they were incredibly excited about the knowledge they were gaining and the experience they were having.  They asked to meet regularly so that they can share and learn from one another and deepen their new practice after everything they had learned. Our intention is to help empower practitioners to build a community of Storyplay practice in North West, and they evidently want the same! We left inspired and are looking forward to spending the next few months learning from one another.
The scope of the project is that it will run for one year.  We’ll train the same 31 women from 20 early learning sites and more than 1400 children will be affected by the project in the various types of sites where the women work. Finally, we hope to grow the network if there is an interest.


This blog post was written by Nadia Lubowski. Nadia is the Storyplay Co-ordinator for the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, and is responsible for the implementation  of the campaign’s early literacy development approach

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