Storytelling does not simply belong to talented writers or the wise – it’s a part of our everyday lives, whether we notice it or not. Storytelling encompasses both real and fictional stories, that we each tell one another in formal and informal settings.
The act of storytelling has been around for centuries and is present within many cultures. Storytelling is the process of sharing a story, often through words, pictures or even movement. It enables a person to engage another through the use of creative embellishments.
For children, storytelling is important, that’s why at Keren’s Nursery we love to encourage storytelling and let their imaginations soar. During their early development years, they will be exposed to storytelling at nursery and school, and should also be encouraged at home. In short, it is a fundamental part of a child’s early development.
This blog explores why storytelling is paramount for children’s development and how parents can encourage it at home.
Why Is It Important?
There are endless reasons why storytelling is important for children and babies. Firstly, it is magical – it allows us to enter new worlds, encourages children to be creative and encourages empathy. Not only this, but it helps to develop their understanding of the outer world. Storytelling is a great way to encourage respect and knowledge of other cultures, religions and races.
In addition, storytelling can help children to be both better listeners and communicators. Reading with your child before bed, for example, helps them to understand that when other people speak they must actively listen and remain patient. Likewise, storytelling can help them visualise language. In turn, helping children to expand their vocabulary and improve their overall communication skills.
Storytelling has many benefits for a child’s development. Not only does it help improve their early literacy skills, but it can also have many benefits for their social and cognitive skills.
How to Implement Storytelling
There is no one set answer as to how, and when, storytelling should be implemented into a child’s daily routine. However, the earlier reading is encouraged, the better. This is because the earlier a child is exposed to written language, the quicker they are to develop reading and then speaking skills.
For parents at home, there are many ways that storytelling can become a part of your child’s daily routine. For instance, storytelling can take place almost anywhere and at any time! Whether you’re walking to nursery, on the bus or at home – the magic of storytelling and reading is that it can transport us from anywhere.
Tips for Storytelling with Children at Home
If you are unsure where to begin, find Keren’s top tips for reading with children below:
- Develop a daily routine at home by reading before bed at nighttime.
- Be sure to choose a comfy spot, such as a chair, where both you and your child can read a book together.
- It is also beneficial to have no background noise to help your child relax and hear your voice.
- Allow your child to ask questions and to familiarise themselves with words or pictures by repeating parts of the story.
- Don’t worry if they can’t sit through a whole story – the older a child gets, the longer they can sit and listen.
- Likewise, don’t worry if it’s only a few minutes per night – any storytelling is great!
- Choose age-appropriate stories – younger children like stories that have repetition and rhyme.
- Be open to different forms of storytelling – children can also gain exposure to it through eBooks, letters, magazines or even picture books.
Lastly, remember that storytelling is fun – so don’t take it too seriously. It is also important for parents to remember that implementing a daily routine can be difficult, especially for young children struggling with sleep routines. So, patience is key.
The great thing about storytelling is that it can be encouraged in so many ways. So, if you don’t have access to many books or are short on time – why not encourage it in other ways, such as through nursery rhymes, songs and your own stories too (storytelling in other languages can be even more beneficial too)?