Storytelling is a staple activity in our household. It adapts well and often serves as a springboard for other activities. It's one of our favorite past-times and the benefits are numerous. Storytelling, by itself, is a wonderful way to connect with your children and it's a ton of fun. Imaginations are flexed and stretched by the power of your words. It's truly amazing. Lately, we've been adding onto the experience by illustrating our stories. It does not take the place of storytelling with words alone, but it is a wonderful change of pace with it's own pleasures and benefits.
R delights in telling his own stories and has come to love illustrating them as well. He gathers us around his easel and sets to work. He names his story in advance and sets the stage. He draws a little and then speaks. We hang on his words and his pictures. And his actions. As he draws, he further engrosses himself into his story. He begins to act out emotions. He's not reciting. He is storytelling. It's absolutely wonderful to watch.
|Emoting during storytelling.|
I love seeing his stories evolve along with his artwork. I adore getting a glimpse into his active imagination. He knows he's entertaining us, but I'm not sure he grasps just how much.
And he's learning. While we are being entertained. While we are bonding. He is learning.
Tips For Your Family
- Use what you have. If you don't have an easel, this activity would be lovely done on paper while you cuddle on the couch. And, as an added bonus, you have a special keepsake afterwards!
- Take turns. Let your children see you tell a story and illustrate it yourself. Then give them the stage and listen intently.
- Let go of perfection. You don't have to be an artist or a particularly remarkable storyteller. Your child will love it regardless and appreciate your effort. And, chances are, you'll get better with practice.
- Use various voices. An easy way to make your stories more interesting and fun is to use a new voice for each character. I think the best part of that is watching your child mimic you and experiment with voices of their own afterwards.
- Tell an array of stories. You can share a classic favorite from your childhood or make up a special story just for your child.
- Build a Series. Once you make up a character, perhaps based on a special little boy or girl you know, you can build upon that story by describing new adventures. It will be very exciting and give your children something special to look forward to for next time.
*By the way, Mommy Labs has a fantastic post about the benefits of storytelling and why it is so important for childhood. I think it's beautiful and a must read.
I hope this activity is as magical for you, as it is for my family. Happy connecting!
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