When my kids were little, I never thought about encouraging them to tell stories. Since I wasn’t homeschooling then, I didn’t think it was very important. Why would they need to tell stories? Don’t we just “read” stories? I didn’t know the benefits of it back then, but I am glad I do now. Explore these ways to develop storytelling skills in your child.
Storytelling isn’t at the forefront of most families’ minds when it comes to helping our children with their education. In an age when we can get everything and anything at the push of a button, I wondered where storytelling fit in as I learned more about it when teaching my own kids. I read about some fantastic benefits of storytelling that I hadn’t tapped into yet.
Here are a few benefits in developing storytelling skills in your child:
Storytelling encourages a child’s imagination.
A child’s active imagination is exceptionally healthy for them. Technology has really hindered an imagination and a sense in creativity for some of our children. I notice it when I went from 1st world life (T.V. in every room) to no T.V. at all. Why imagine anything when a video game or movie can do it for you? You can see that this is not good.
Storytelling brings your family together.
Don’t believe me? Get in the habit of a storytelling time in your home and see how interested your children will be to participate. Telling stories together can make memories you truly can hold for a lifetime. You can encourage storytelling skills by writing with your child. Check out a few resources to practice:
How to Write A Story With Your Kid | Pen, and Parent
Storytelling with fairy tales (FREE Printables) | Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Storytelling can create confident speakers.
As you practice storytelling at home, your kids will know to develop characters, settings, story-line, a problem, a solution, and an underlying theme. With practice, kids can do all these things and get them down on paper. A little encouragement from parents and kids will begin writing down their stories to let others in the family enjoy it.
As you and others listen to your child’s story, kids feel more comfortable speaking and are confident while we listen.
The storytelling, of course, begins with you – with your parents. Read to your children as early as possible. Read to them often. That is the beginning. Then you can implement practical ways to develop storytelling skills in your child.
Here are some practical ways to develop storytelling skills:
Start your kids off with String-a-Long-Stories.
Start a story off somehow. Maybe with “Once upon a time” or “Long, long ago in a land…” This activity works well with siblings, or you can do a string-a-long story with your young one yourself. I look back and wish I would have recorded some of our string-a-long stories when my kids were little.
My oldest was about 17, and my younger kids were about 5 and 8. Before night time, we would sometimes sit in a circle to invent our elaborate stories. What great memories those weres, if only I would have thought to record them. That may be worth a try with your little ones.
Expose them to cool storytelling voices.
I have talked to moms who say when they tell their kids stories, their voice automatically changes to something else. Something more interesting and pronounced. I think it may be in us to tell our kids stories and change our voices to get their attention. Mine is a mixture of Australian, British, Kiwi, and anything that sounds proper (all that I am NOT.)
Check out the library schedule of when people will come and read books to kids. Although simple, this activity to hear someone other than mom and dad tell stories, will give them an idea of how to tell stories themselves. Some audio-books narrated by celebrities are fun to share with kids as well.
Now all you need is practice! Here are a few simple ways to help kids develop storytelling skills at home:
Use story stones
The Essential Guide On How To Use Story Stones | Early Impact
Homemade Story Stones | Happy Hooligans
How to make story stones | Simple Parenting
Make a story box
Dear Zoo Story Box | Natural Beach Living
Goldilocks & the Three Bears – Story Box | Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
Storytelling with Story Bags or bins
Owl Babies Story Sack | The Fairy and the Frog
A Story in a Bag | This Little Project
Sticker Story Bag: Creating Stories | Simple Play Ideas
Portable Sensory Bins: Lego Storytelling | Lemon Lime Adventures
Nature Walk Storytelling
4 Steps to Get Started With Storytelling in Nature | Rain or Shower Mamma
Promote Play for storytelling fun with open-ended toys and games
6 Creative Storytelling Games for Kids | Read Brightly
The Best Family Games to Encourage Storytelling | Dad Suggests
Boost Your Imagination! With Art and Play | Babies to Bookworms
Use story cubes
FREE Printable Story Cubes | The Activity Mom
Roll a story…Story Dice. | The Cozy RedCottage
FREE Story Planning Grid | Communication4All
How to… make Story Cubes (& beautiful memories) | Red Ted Art
Use Retelling Puppets
The Three Little Pigs Printable Story Retell Puppets | Childhood 101
FREE Storytelling: Finger Puppets, Storytelling Gloves, 5 Little Monkeys | Differentiation Station Creations
Sing storytelling songs
Storytelling Songs: Little Red Riding Hood | Let’s Play Music
Cut and tell
Provide kids with lots of newspapers. Task the kids to cut out pictures. From the pictures, task them to write a story connecting all the pictures. You will find the stories will be pretty funny and unique. Additionally, it forces kids to make connections and critically think about developing a story with random items.
Use story blocks
Stimulate Your Child’s Imagination with Storyblocks | Walking by the Way
Improv Storytelling with Blocks Lesson Plan | Stages Learning
Use writing prompts
Storytelling with Kids – Make Writing Fun! | R.E.A.L. World Learners
Storytelling Prompts in a Jar FREE Printable | Kitchen Counter Chronicle
Magical Fairy Garden Storytelling Prompt | The Imagination Tree
Getting your children to tell stories, whether out loud or in written form, has some amazing benefits. Most of all, it develops imagination in a time when technology tends to hinder it. Storytelling provides a way for kids to think up ideas on their own, which ultimately builds their confidence. When kids bring their ideas to life through storytelling, the sky’s the limit to how they can think for themselves in the future.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!