I believe it’s still important to tell stories to our children. It helps them connect with us, and it allows our children to learn who we are and what we believe in. You don’t have to be Hans Christian Anderson to craft stories. Your child just wants to hear your voice.
Picture from Google Images
Pierce frequently asks me for the stories in my head. Often I’ll tell them during chores, which seems to make the act of picking up or cleaning more enjoyable for Pierce. Each time I tell one, he listens intently, and at the end he tells me with a big grin, “That was great!” It embraces creativity, encouraging him to explore and craft with his own mind. Here are a few tips for storytelling with your child.
1. Start with what you know. Your child will love to hear stories of your own childhood. Tell about misadventures with your cousins, fishing trips, your favorite toys as a child.
2. When branching into the unknown, start with 3 loose ideas in your head before you start telling. Then you can weave the stories around those ideas. So you might just think of 3 random objects: a boy named Sam, a canoe, a turtle. Once you have those ideas, you can start to make connections between the three.
3. Relate your story to what your child knows. What are you doing right now? Are you eating dinner? If so, you might start your story with the little boy Sam eating dinner. Maybe he’s eating the same foods as you, or maybe he’s eating pancakes shaped like canoes. Hopefully he’s not eating turtle.
4. Add a little bit of magic – maybe your canoe can fly or your turtle can talk. This brings the element of wonder into your tale.
5. Have a moral. Storytelling is your opportunity to teach your child what you believe in. Maybe Sam uses his canoe to rescue a really ugly turtle that all the other kids and animals ignored. You can teach kindness, healthy habits, equality, sharing, and more through your stories.
Give storytelling a try with your children. It can only create a stronger bond, and once they’ve gotten a taste for your creativity they’ll soon be begging for more.