Long long ago, there was a child who could listen to stories all day long!
We’ve all been that child once, just like the kids today who enjoy a good story while their mind runs wild with imagination. The dramatic characters, plot twists, and the enchanting places fascinate them, as they are transported to new worlds. That said, storytelling for kids is an art and not an easy one at that.
Children are curious and question every bit of the story if you don’t make it convincing enough for them. Well, does that mean you should give up? No, because MomJunction is here to help. In this post, we make storytelling for children easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
What Is Storytelling?
Storytelling is a creative form of expression where imagination is translated into words. It requires interactive words and actions with variations in tone, to narrate a story that keeps the listeners hooked until the end. A good storyteller also encourages the listener’s active imagination, letting them become the co-creators of the tale.
Storytelling can take various forms such as dance, puppetry, musicals, comedy, poetry, and more. It requires patience, persistence, and multiple trial-and-error attempts to master this skill.
How To Tell Stories To Children: 5 Easy Ways Of Narrating A Story
Not knowing how to tell a story to a child can be frustrating, especially when your little one wants a bedtime story every night.
Young minds are always exploring something, are bored easily and move from one topic to another so quickly that you struggle to catch up. So how do you capture the child’s attention and get them to stay with you, without boring them?
Here are a few tips to help you with that.
- Understand the listener: The first and foremost step is to understand your audience: knowing what they want will help you create and narrate a compelling story. So ask yourself what your child likes: superheroes, prince and princesses, aliens or historical figures?
- Construct your message: The next step is to define a message that you want to convey through your story. What should the children take away from the story? Is there anything specific you want them to learn from this story? Build your stories based on these questions.
- Include creative words: The usage of innovative and impressive vocabulary works best when you are narrating a story to children. But limit the usage of words that are difficult to comprehend for a child.
- Expressive style: Keep the listeners enamored by telling the story eloquently and dramatically. Be energetic, get emotional and go with the flow. Create a thrilling experience filled with suspenseful and surprising incidents if the story warrants it.
- Timing: The importance of timing in storytelling and the effect it can have on the children cannot be stressed enough. Whether it is a campfire story, bedtime story, or just a humorous one to narrate on a rainy day, it has to be appropriate and suitable for the mood and time of the day.
“Should we really do so much? Is it really necessary?”If this is what you are thinking, then we would say “Yes,” because of the benefits storytelling has.
15 Benefits Of Storytelling To Kids
Besides being entertaining, stories offer a myriad of benefits for children and aid in their overall development. Whether you’re reading from a storybook, narrating a personal experience or recreating their favorite movie’s plot, your storytelling can create a lasting impact during their growing up years.
Here are a few more benefits of storytelling in childhood:
- Instills virtues and morals in children: Stories can have a huge impact on children. Honesty, truthfulness, gratitude, and many such attributes can be ingrained in them through compelling stories.
- Understanding cultures: Stories can be used to keep the children connected to their roots and make them understand their own history and traditions. Stories, like cultures, vary from one land to another. Stories from the homeland and foreign places will make the child appreciate the diversities existing in this world.
- Improves listening skills: To enjoy the story thoroughly, one must pay attention to the narrator so that nothing is missed out. A good session of storytelling can improve a child’s listening skills.
- Inspires curiosity: Pausing a story when it gets most interesting makes the listener eager to know what happens next. It makes the children curious and encourages them to ask questions, which also helps in their learning, growth, and development.
- Kindles imagination: It is one thing to be curious and another to become imaginative. A well-narrated story takes you to various parts of the world, both real and mythical. Stories with an element of fantasy and magic help in improving the imagination and creative thinking of the listeners.
- Improves concentration: Listening to stories helps improve the attention span and concentration levels too.
- Introduces new vocabulary: When you include new terminology every time you narrate a story, children learn them and try to understand the meanings of these unfamiliar words. This helps them improve their vocabulary.
- Enhances the learning process: Stories have a unique way of improving the learning process, both at an academic and personal level too. Storytelling can engage the children in a creative learning process that makes understanding even the toughest of topics easy.
- Develops emotional intelligence: This is the key to success at various stages of human life. The development of emotional intelligence refers to the awareness of and control over one’s emotions and expressions. Stories help you in achieving that in a simple yet beautiful manner.
- Teaches empathy: The ability to think for others, placing yourself in other’s shoes, and understanding their feelings makes one a better individual. Stories can teach you to become more empathetic towards others and be sensitive to their needs.
- Improves communication: When your imagination and thinking are clear, they reflect in communication. Listening and understanding the stories can enhance communication at different levels.
- Lowers stress and anxiety: Stories not only entertain, but captivate you as they transport you into different worlds in the imaginary realm. Listening to such delightful stories and experiencing the magic and fantasy in their minds can lower the stress and anxiety levels in children.
- Sharpens memory: Whether a story is long or short, kids tend to remember the plot, characters, and other aspects of it for as long as they can. This is good for the kid’s memory skills but can prove disadvantageous to the storyteller, as the kids will remember if you are repeating a story. Wink! Wink!!
- Makes academic learning easier: Certain academic subjects have a direct or indirect connection to various stories. This is one of the many ways in which stories can make academic learning easier for children. The creative thinking ability that they develop by listening to stories also makes academic learning effective.
- Encourage a budding storyteller: Listening to intriguing stories may inspire children to one day pen down their own narrative or become a storyteller themselves.
Storytelling is an art that even technology cannot steal from you. Indulge in a quality storytelling time with your kids and amaze them with your skills. Share stories of all genres. Be it mythological stories, classic fairy tales or tales about space and the future, the right narrative will guarantee an impressed and happy child.
Does your child enjoy story time? How do you make it interesting for them? Share your secret tips and tricks with our readers in the comment section below.