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Remember your childhood days when you use to snuggle with your parents at bedtime and listen to a story before going off to sleep. This age-old practice is losing its charm in the present day as not only the adults in the family but the children have also become addicted to electronic gadgets. However, the importance of storytelling cannot be undermined as it not only helps shape up creativity in a child, but it also triggers their power of imagination. Here, in the following article, we shall discuss various benefits of storytelling for kids and how you may effectively engage your kids in this fun activity.
What is Storytelling?
Narrating a story, your own childhood experience or reading a story from a book is what storytelling is all about. Though it is easier for parents to sit and watch a show on television with their children, the relevance and importance of storytelling cannot be forgotten. There are many advantages of storytelling on the growing children.
What are the Benefits of Storytelling for Children?
Following are some of the benefits of storytelling for children:
- Helps The Kids Know About Their Roots And Culture: Narrating stories from your childhood and about the other family members helps your kid to understand family lineage better. The stories of various religious festivals or functions help the child to know about various family traditions.
- Help Your Kid Learn Good Values: Kids love to emulate their favourite characters and thus by telling them stories which have moral teachings, will help them learn good values. Virtues like honesty, courage, wisdom can be imbibed at a young age with storytelling.
- Better Listening Skills: Young children have a very limited attention span and get distracted very soon. By engaging them in storytelling, you help them to work on their attention span and hence become more attentive and good listeners.
- Enhanced Vocabulary: Listening or reading stories help children to know about new words and phrases. This helps them to get a better knowledge and understanding of the language. It is one of the best ways to teach your kids pronunciation of the new words and their apt usage.
- Helps In Building Better Memory: You may help your kid to build up better memory by asking them to narrate the story after a few days or by asking them about the characters of the story. This will help the kids to memorize things and become more attentive.
- Helps In Channelizing Imagination Power and Creativity: Listening to a story helps the child to imagine and create the characters, places and the plot. It helps their imagination to run freely and visualize things without a visual medium.
- Helps In Academics: Storytelling helps the child to understand better, and thus children learn to concentrate and understand about various subjects in the class as well. The monotony of a boring history class may turn into a fun and exciting storytelling experience for a child.
- Communication Skills: Children love to ask and probe about various things relating to the story, which makes them more comfortable in asking questions or to know about things they did not understand. This ability makes them communicate better and become more confident in striking a conversation.
- Expands Their Horizons: Stories tell the children about various cultures and traditions of the world. This makes them aware of ethnicities and languages of other countries.
- Helps Children To Deal With Difficult Situations: When kids face difficult situations the various learning experiences or virtues learned from the stories may help them.
What is the Correct Approach for Storytelling
Following are some important aspects that tell you about the correct approach to storytelling:
- Perfect Length: You should not pick up a story which is either too lengthy or too short. Pick up a story which may interest your kid and has a useful message or learning.
- Cosy Surroundings: Make sure you choose a place or room which has no distractions. A comfortable and cosy place makes the storytelling activity more fun.
- Apt Introduction: Try and interest your child and give a proper introduction to the story. If it some experiences that you are sharing, make sure you give the proper background for your kid to relate better.
- Keep The Pace In Mind: It is important to follow the right pace with a loud voice but slow narration. This may help your kid to assimilate better and have an enjoyable storytelling experience.
- Use Expressions: The use of proper facial expressions and hand gestures may keep your kid engrossed. Make use of sounds and expressions and make storytelling more enjoyable.
- Engage Your Kid: Children really like it if you involve them in anything that you do and same goes for storytelling. Ask them the questions or their opinions, or you may ask them what did they learn from the various characters or the story?
These are some ways that you may use to have interactive storytelling for children.
Storytelling Games and Activities for Kids
Here we have some exciting and creative games, activities and fun storytelling ideas for kids. These may help your kid to be more creative and imaginative.
- Story Cubes: These story cubes have various images on them. Kids have to weave a story with the images they roll from the cube. It can be played single or in a group. Great way of storytelling for kindergarten and pre-schoolers.
- Story Cards: These cards have various combinations such as characters, situations, places etc. This exciting idea of storytelling for toddler requires the child to pull out cards from the pack and construct a story with the drawn cards.
- Building A Story: For this game, random household items can be collected and placed in a basket. The idea is to pull out a certain amount of items and create a story around them.
- Story Stones: Ideal for picnics, school outings or outdoor fun. Various images can be painted on the stones and kept in a bag. Every participant can be asked to pull out three to four stones and create a story with them.
- Story Bag: This game involves short storytelling for kids. Pictures or images of characters, places, maps, numbers etc. can be placed in a bag, and the child will be required to build a short story by pulling out any 3-4 pictures from the bag.
- Complete The Story: A story will be narrated by an elder, and the child will be asked midway to complete the story.
- Zoom Stories: A child will be asked to narrate a story, and at the mention of word Zoom (by any elder or friend), the child will have to elaborate upon that part of the story. For example, elaborate on characters, place, situation etc.
- Make Stories Together: Children can be asked to work in groups and construct stories together by sharing their experiences.
- Stories Involving Role Play: The children can be asked to play roles of various (famous or non-famous) characters and construct a story around those characters.
- Stories In Brief: Children can be asked to narrate the stories from their favorite book or novel in a minute.