By Georgia Lohan
Storytelling skills are incredibly important and not just in childhood. The skills that you learn through storytelling help you in many different areas of life. In business, storytelling is used to sell your product and connect with customers. These skills are also helpful in improving communication, making all relationships easier. Stories are relatable and help people learn. They are great skills to have as an educator, coach, or parent. As you can see, it’s important to develop the skills of a storyteller.
How to encourage your child to become a storyteller
As a parent, you have many jobs. One of those jobs is to help your child become a wonderful storyteller so they can excel in all the areas we just mentioned. But, don’t worry—it isn’t as hard as you think. Here are some strategies you can use to encourage storytelling in your child.
Read stories to them
Children learn storytelling naturally through hearing stories. Spend time reading with your children. Let them choose the books that they love to hear and encourage them to listen to new ones as well. Read all different kinds of stories so they can learn different aspects of being a storyteller. When they hear a variety of books they learn that not all stories are the same.
Makeup stories for them
Children love when you create a story of your own, especially when they are the star of the story. Find ways to weave things from your child’s real life into fantasy. This will help them to see how the two can blend together. The more examples you give them the better they will get at it themselves.
Let them create the story
Instead of always being the one to create a story have them do it but give them an advantage. Show them a picture and have them create an entire story around it. The picture could be someone from a fantasy world or it could be something from the child’s real life. Don’t limit them in any way, just allow them to create as they go.
Use a surprise bag
This is a great activity to take with you on a long car trip. Get a bag and fill it with small items from around your house. They could be small toys or everyday items like a pencil or spoon. Then have your child choose three items from the bag. Once they have their three items they have to tell a story that connects those items together.
Get them thinking
As you read or tell a story to your child take time to pause and talk to them. Ask them what they think will happen next in the story. This is a great way to get them doing critical thinking. They will start to think about the details of the story and what direction it could take. This will help them to see the parts of a story and think through scenarios that can happen.
Have them put their own spin on it
This is a two-part activity. Start by reading your child a story. When you have finished, discuss the story, the characters, and what they experienced. Talk about any lessons that were learned from the story. Then, have them tell the story again while putting their own twist on it.
Have them fill in the blanks
A great way to teach your child the skills of storytelling is to tell a story together. When they are young you can start by allowing them to choose things like names and locations while you tell the rest of the story. As they get older you can have them start filling in more and more pieces of the story. Eventually, it will switch so you fill in the blanks and they tell the remainder of the story. Before you know it they will be creating the entire story on their own.
Storytelling is great for your child when they are young and beneficial to them when they are older. Remember, it doesn’t have to be hard. The more you read stories to them, like those on Rafael the Unicorn, the better they will get at storytelling.
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