Storytelling to kids : We all have been through that childhood once where we love to listen to stories. While enjoying good stories and imagining all the characters and the scenes of the story. Kids are moreover fascinated by the characters, twits and specially the magic.
To be honest storytelling to kids is an art and it is not a child’s play. Most of the children are very curious and they question everything about the story when you do not make it entertaining for them.
Storytelling, which is one of the oldest, most powerful forms of teaching. This is a technique used by great orators and features. Religious texts have also shown preaching being done by way of short stories or parables.
- What Is Storytelling?
- Benefits of Storytelling to kids
- Easy ways to tell a story to a child
- What kind of stories can you tell children?
Introduction to Storytelling:
Oral storytelling is one of the best ways to improve children’s oral fluency and to help them understand the literature. These concepts like story body, story structure, and specially the features which are inherent are all brought out during storytelling sessions.
For a fresh start, Parents can use stories of their parents and grandparents as a model of their own story. It is also an important way of transmitting our family’s culture to our children. All the children love to hear stories about family events, about what when dad was beaten by grandparents, or about that day when mom made her first food.
Thanks to this emerging technology, we can do the oral storytelling while sitting anywhere on the internet.
What Is Storytelling?
Storytelling is the expression of your imagination, where you convert your sequence of imagination into words. It usually requires interactive words and of course actions with maximum variation to tell a story so that readers can stay engrossed till the end.
Engaging the listeners is a sign of a good storyteller who let the listeners dive into their world of imagination.
There can be many forms of Storytelling fictional, non-fictional, comedy, adventure, poetry etc. To master this habit of storytelling you need experience, patience, and imagination.
Benefits of Storytelling to Kids
We have listed below few benefits of Storytelling to kids.
Teaches children moral Values
We would have all heard moral stories when we were children. Be it the Hare and the tortoise or how Alexander the Great conquered the world.
When we heard the stories of real-life heroes, we aspired to be like them.
In short moral stories teaches us moral values. E.g. Stories like the Hare and tortoise teacher’s perseverance, not to be overconfident.
Moral value stories can be of any type they can have cartoon and fictitious characters. Or real-life heroes like Alexander the Great, Nelson Mandela, Anna Frank. Or it can even be a narration of how you neighbour helped an old man cross the road.
There are also other ways to instill moral values in our children. you can get more deep insights and understanding from our blog post Absolutely Surprising truth about Morality development in kids.
While the story not only instills moral values into our children but also gives them guidance to live life the right way. Face obstacles as and when they meet them as they grow up and during their adult life.
We love listening to stories and moral stories encouraged us to be a better person.
Helps kids understand their lineage
Are you proud of the country that you were born in? Does the family you were born into make you feel proud? Are you proud of the religion you are born into?
Irrespective whether you answer is yes or no the question is. How do you know about all these things? Where you there from the beginning of time.
The answer a simple you heard then by word of mouth pass across from generation to generation by way of stories over to you. Which you will also pass on to your little one.
Stories such as these help children get a perspective of where they are placed and the heritage that they are born into. It makes them feel identified and belonged.
It also helps children to create their own identity from what they heard. Example a child who heard about the very humble background of his ancestors / family might strive to make a difference and be very financially successful in life.
A child whose lineage belongs to a certain class in the society might want to maintain it and feel proud of where he belongs.
Increases vocabulary and fosters writing skills
Storytelling is an art. Either you can read out the story to a child or you can ask you a child to narrate a story to you.
When you tell a story to your child your child listens very carefully to you. Slowly yet steadily your child learns these words by asking you questions of what each new word means. And registering it over a period helps increasing the vocabulary of the child.
When the child narrates to you a story you would find that sometimes a child gets stuck in want of the right word. When you help the child with the right word in that context the child immediately picks up the word and repeats it and proceed with story.
Also, when you read along a story to the child. And the child helps you by turning the pages, looking into the pictures, and invariably looking at the written letters.
The child gets familiarized with letter formation and the print. This familiarization with the alphabets builds the foundation for the child to develop writing skills.
Increases focus and attention span
How long do you think your child can focus? How long do you think your child can sit in one place and listen to you? What is the average time your child sends one activity without getting bored?
Studies have shown that the attention span of children have been decreasing drastically.
At the same time try telling a child a story or just read a story to a child. Do not you think your child will be more engaged and engrossed give full attention and focuses on what you are saying.
Storytelling can do this magic of holding your child’s attention for a long period of time.
So, it is safer to say one of the benefits of storytelling to kids increases focus and attention span of your child.
Apart from storytelling one of the fun ways to increase focus is through Messy play. Yes it can be a bit messy and a bit more work for you. but the benefits of messy play is immense.
I can personally vouch for it as I have seen the benefits in my kids. Read more in our post MESSY PLAY – Powerful benefits that will help child.
Unlocks creativity and encourages imagination
There are different ways in which stories can be told.
Story can be told by way of narration without any visual aids help. There are stories that can be told with the help of visual aids, picture books or even playing a video.
Story told without any visual aid and by the narrator. holding the attention of his audience through voice modulation and actions, triggers firework of imagination in the child’s brain.
Do not be surprised when two children hearing the same story from the same narrator at the same time can infer completely different pictures in their mind.
For example, when the narrator says a bird peeped through the window. One child can imagine a little sparrow while the other child can imagine a mighty phoenix.
If you feel you do not hold such narrative talents, do not be disheartened. Reading a simple age appropriate story book to your child is good enough. Ask little probing questions by looking at the pictures in the book.
Questions like. look at the crow picture in the book and ask your child, what is the Crow doing? Such simple probing can make your child imagine and give you very creative answers the way he/she sees it. There by developing imagination and creativity.
Creativity is classified as the skill of the future. One that is important for our kids to succeed in the VUCA world (the future world they will live in).
So parents who concentrate on building this capability now in their children will do better than the rest. Spend some time in reading 17 helpful ways to DEVELOP CREATIVITY in your kid.
Helps in comprehension, remembrance, and recollection
When you tell or read a story the child. The child needs to understand the story. This means the child needs to possess comprehension skill.
When you ask the child to repeat the story and correct wherever the child had missed out in understanding the story the child’s comprehension increases.
As you engage in these activities regularly with your child and when you pick up the same story book that you had read to the child some days back.
Ask the child to tell you about the story. The child will be forced to think remember and recollect the story and narrated back to you.
Sometimes even a small exercise of you telling the story to the kid and then asking the kids to narrate a story to his favorite toy or to your spouse can also help in developing remembrance and recollection.
Improves communication, articulation and listening skills
When you tell stories to your child. The child understands sentence formation and construction. And when you probe by asking questions the child it force the child to respond back. This helps the child to communicate to you.
If the activity of storytelling in done by the child whereby the child narrating the story to his friends, then the child once again uses communication to pass the message across.
When you are telling story to your child. Your child tries to understand the story by actively listening to you. This increases your child’s listening ability. Also, the way you articulate, your tone, your voice modulation, your pitch, and your actions are all observed by the child.
Your child naturally tries to imitate you. You will be pleasantly rewarded when your tries to your articulation when he/she communicates so that the message is effectively put across.
When children learn to express themselves and when their communication becomes effective. Their self-confidence increases. This develops a positive self-image and thereby good leadership skills in your child.
If you are also looking for other ways to develop communication skills in your little one. We have covered it for you in our article 9 BEST WAYS TO DEVELOP YOUR KID’S COMMUNICATION SKILL.
Improves social skills
Storytelling can happen by way of an adult telling a story to a child. Or a child telling a story to another child.
In both the ways the interaction happens between two individuals. While interacting, invariably they listen, understand, communicate, ask questions, and pay attention to each other. These form the foundation of social skill development.
Easy ways to tell a story to a child:
If you do not know how to tell a story to a child it can be exhausting, especially when he wants a cool bedtime story every single night.
Usually young minds try to explore something and get bored easily then it moves from one topic to another easily. So how do you capture a child’s attention?
Here are a few tips to help you with storytelling to kids
Tip #1 : Understand your audience:
The first and the important step is to understand the mind of your audience. If you know what they want, it will help you create a good story. So, you must ask your child what type he likes: fictional, non-fictional superheroes, aliens, or historical figures?
Tip # 2: Conveying some message:
Next important step is to convey a message through your story so your story should have some impact. So, what do you want the children to take away from the story? Do you want them to learn anything special from this story? Do you want them to know about something important? Try to build the base of your stories on such questions.
Tip #3: Including impressive words:
Try to use an impressive set of words and vocabularies, it will work best especially in the case of some children. But you must limit the usage of some words that are for children to understand.
Tip #4: Have Expressive style:
You must keep the listeners engaged by telling the story fluently and dramatically. Try to be energetic, be emotional and just go with the flow. To engage the listener more, you can create a thrilling experience filled with suspenseful and surprising incidents.
Tip #5: Effect of Timing:
The importance of timing in any storytelling and the effect which it will have on the children cannot be more stressed. Whether it is a campfire story, bedtime story, or just a humorous one to narrate on a rainy day, it must be appropriate and suitable for the mood and time of the day.
What kind of stories can you tell children?
a) Back in Time:
You need to start off by those stories which you have heard while growing up, now it is your time to tell those stories to your child.
Think why your favorites stories have been told again and again and think about what makes your story classic.
Explain the moral of the story to your child.
b) Stories from other cultures:
You can also search the stories from other cultures and narrate them to your child and point out the major difference in several cultures.
c) Share Personal experience:
This can be any experience which you had in the past, so you can pass that information to your child via story, you can also share your friends and family experiences.
Tell them about your ancestors, this is something that will enrich your child. Children are usually interested to know what their grandparents do. These are the types of stories which every kid wants to hear.
d) Books you loved as a child:
Think about the kind of stories you love to hear as a kid. Pick out some of the stories for your kids and read out to them.
This is a great way of telling stories to your kid, this is how you do not have to pay much attention to the words as the picture will describe the most.
Storytelling is a great source of passing information to your child in an adequate manner. You can teach ethics and manners to your child through great inspirational stories.
Try to use actions and keep a positive body language, too. Pick out the quotes by different characters, change them according to your voice and make your kid laugh!
You can pick any moment to tell your child these stories. Children are suckers for stories. (I think even as Adults we are too. No wonder the news channels flourish). It can be during bedtime, while you are travelling or while you are spending time with your child.
If your child’s confidence is low in some areas, so instead of just asking them to gain confidence you can find inspirational stories and tell them to your kid.
Child raising is not just a mothers job. It is a combined responsibilty. Infact reading to a child or storytelling to kids is one of the activity fathers can do to bond with your child.
Along with numerous other benefits that only fathers can bring about naturally to their child. To educate yourself more read our super trending article 11 Amazing ways FATHER’S can contribute to child’s success.
Storytelling for kids is an amazing tool to bond with your child and reap all the benefits listed above and more. So, take time to include story telling in your day today engagement with your child.
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Is storytelling to kids part of your family ritual?.What are your kids’ favorite story and at what age? We like to hear about it. Leave in your comments below.