As children my sister and I would wait for our dad to come home and tell us bedtime stories. He wove in our minds the magic and laughter that is Richmal Crompton, and that too he would tell the tales in Tamil our mother tongue. In addition there were singing books and pop up books.
Books to me are as precious as breathing and my kids and I need to read every single day. With the advent of television and computer games, more and more children are not even introduced to books. Reading is a habit that enhances creativity, problem solving, introduces writing skills, and most important busts stress.
It’s never too early
There are many of us who speak to a child, play music, or tell stories when a baby is in its mother’s womb. Start early and relate wonderful takes both folk as well as global. Introduce to the child the many wonders of your own heritage and culture. Enact the stories by changing the voice tones.
Every child has a favorite story—my daughter used to ask for “ The Monkey and the Rose Apple Tree” every single night. My son loved Casper the friendly ghost and Wendy the witch.
When a child sits up bring colorful books home and sit with the child in your lap and relate the tale. Talk about the characters, colors, scenes and more. Believe me you will enjoy the sessions as much as the child and the bonds will deepen.
Storytelling for Kids
In everyday activities like play, bath, or mealtime talk to the child about the stories and encourage the child to tell stories too. kids have vivid imaginations and can carry forward tales they know adding new incidents. Even when choosing a story to read – ask the child to choose. Many kids as young as two-three will run and bring their favorite book from the pile of books.
When on an outing point out familiar trees, animals and more to the child—you will be surprised how kids recognize things and relate daily things to the stories they know.
Introduce book stores and the library
From a young age take the kids to the bookstore. Let them browse through the books. If a local book store or museum is having a story-telling session or read-a loud event make the effort to take children there.
Another place is the library, let the kids choose books once a week or so, at the library they will meet other children and exchange ideas and talk about books. If possible create a book lovers club for kids in the area you live—kids can exchange books, have someone enact stories, organize a puppet show and so on.
A friend of mine works with differently abled children and she shared that one of the best ways to engage children is books –kids love books, colors and stories.
The art of storytelling exists from time-immemorial. Paintings on caves tell stories of valor, everyday life, gods and goddesses and more, there are tales of kingship depicted on temple walls and other edifices like the pyramids and more.
Stories are one way of inculcating morals and traits like honesty and fair play. Teach kids to love books and they will have lifelong friends