Once Upon a Time… Celebrating National Storytelling Week
This week is the Society of Storytelling’s 15th annual National Storytelling Week. Here at Fundamentally Children we have been looking at how a child’s development can benefit from listening to stories, and making up their own.
In the mind of a child, stories can seem incredibly real. They can feel the breath of the wolf from Red Riding Hood panting on the backs of their necks, and taste the delicious gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. Enjoying stories at a young age can encourage children to read; an interest in books is just as important as the words on the page. Find out more about learning to read here. As well as getting children enthusiastic in books, storytelling introduces children to the concept that all plots progress through a beginning, a middle and an end – this is useful both for understanding books, and in writing their own stories.
Children of all ages enjoy being told stories, whether they are read from a book or made up on the spot. Stories are a great opportunity to practice social skills as, in order to follow the plot, children must pay attention to the story and listen to the storyteller. Books that are interactive – for example, pop-up books (e.g. Hello! School), or books with buttons to press (e.g. Axel Scheffler’s Noisy Jungle) – are particularly good for keeping their attention. There are lots of books like this in the Campbell book range.
Putting on funny voices for the characters, and responding to the plot (like acting shocked when something surprising happens), will encourage them to become immersed in the story. You can even play out the story with toys and puppets such as the Red Riding Hood Puppet Set by Fiesta Crafts – your child can join in too!
Making up their own stories allows children to explore their imagination, which is important for developing hypothetical thinking – this is needed to analyse problems, predict situations and understand the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of other people. It also encourages children to develop literacy skills, providing an enjoyable way to practice constructing sentences and building their vocabulary. My Silly Stories puzzles by My World are a good way to promote this – children can simply put together the different puzzle pieces, each with pictures and sentences on them, to create their own stories.
Children can also perform their stories to an audience (be it a parent, friend or stuffed animal) allowing them to gain confidence and practice communication skills by describing their imagined world and plot in a way that can be understood. A fantastic game for this is Rory’s Story Cubes by Coiledspring Games, in which children roll dice with pictures on, and then use these to create and describe a story.
We hope you enjoy taking part in National Storytelling week!Tags: Books, National Storytelling Week, Reading
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This post was written by Anna Taylor