Stories. Children love to hear stories. We often think about the importance of reading storybooks with children, but oral story telling is another wonderful way to communicate and connect with each other. The next time you are faced with 15 minutes to wait in line with a child at the grocery, think of a fairytale, a folktale or a story from “real life” to share with them. Often times you can begin with, “Do you remember the time we...”
You don’t have to memorize a children’s book (although you may have many memorized!). A simple story of a funny thing that happened to you “in real life” could become a favorite story to your child. Take a moment to think about the great stories of your life and share them with a child today.
Storytelling provides school readiness skills by building a child’s emotional and social skills as well. “Oral storytelling is a great vehicle to enhance children’s academic learning. Storytelling promotes children’s language and literacy; in the social-emotional domain, storytelling promotes children’s self-identity, social-emotional reasoning, and problem solving.” (Young Children, NAEYC, September 2006)
Stories don’t always have to come from you. Your child probably has many stories just waiting to be told. Write down the stories that your child wants to tell. Save them and use them to start new stories over and over. Having this shared story will create a very special family narrative that may last for years and years.
Ideas to get you started:
Your first day of school
Fairytale with the child as the hero or villain
What it was like when you were a kid
A time when you did something embarrassing
A time when someone helped you
A favorite family vacation that you took as a child
You might want to check out this book too:
The Parent's Guide to Storytelling: How to Make Up New Stories and Retell Old Favorites by Margaret Read MacDonald