Did you know that story reading and storytelling are two different things? Story reading is you presenting a story to your child from the text of a picture book whereas storytelling is you presenting a story to your child without the presence of a picture book. Both are highly beneficial for children to promote their brain development and imagination, teach them about language and emotions, and strengthen parent-child bonding. Some people are natural storytellers who can make up stories like magic, and some people are simply more comfortable reading stories from a book. If you would like to develop and practise your storytelling skills, try these tips from Eloise Rickman, an author, parent educator, and founder of A Beautiful Childhood.
Tell a story about yourself as a child. Perhaps your child is facing a change, like transitioning into a new class. You can show empathy by telling them about your experience when you had to change to a new class or a new school. You can tell them how you were scared at first because you didn’t know anybody, you didn’t know what will happen, and you missed your old teacher and friends. And then you tell them how you got to know everyone, made new friends, did a lot of exciting things, and learned many new things. Go on and describe all the things you discovered with your new teacher and friends. Children generally love to hear stories that they can relate to, especially if the story is about you!
Tell a story about your child when he or she is younger. It is always amazing to hear about your younger self from other people, isn’t it? You don’t remember it, but others do. Maybe you used to paint a lot when you were 6 until you went to school and fell in love with sports. These are the things you can tell your child. Did your child pronounce words funnily when they were a toddler? Perhaps they loved a particular food, toy, or book that they don’t anymore?
Narrate your child’s day using a favourite character. Did your child start their nursery today? Take their favourite character, like a mouse, and narrate a simple story of what happened. “Once upon a time there was a soft little mouse called Mickey. He woke up early and hugged his mommy. His mommy said to him, today we are going to the nursery!…”
Use wordless picture books. When you have more confidence to make up stories for your child, upgrade your skills with wordless picture books. Both you and your child will develop storytelling skills when you ‘read’ the wordless picture books together. What should we name the character? What is she doing here? Encourage your child to tell the story by asking your child what they think is happening.
Will you try these tips? Story reading and storytelling are one of the daily activities at Choo Choo Train Baby & Child Care centres. Children are exposed to a wide selection of books and teachers use props to make the stories come alive. Give us a call at 0126882532 if you would like to learn more about our programs 😊