A story is defined as a narrative or tale of real or fictitious events. Stories are magic, taking us everywhere, forward or happening right in the present time, transporting us to many places and situations we might never go.
The storyteller is a magician who creates an atmosphere where anything is possible. When a story is presented well, a special kind of energy develops between the teller and the audience.
Stroy telling offers lots of benefits for overall development of young kids. Here are some ways storytelling can prove a valuable tool to enhance creativity and imagination power in kids.
Importance of Story Telling for child development ( specially for preschoolers)
Language skills: Story telling help children develop verbal language skills. By telling stories, students learn to phrase words together in logical sentences and paragraphs. Building upon existing language skills is an important goal of classroom storytelling and can increase a child’s confidence in his ability to communicate ideas and perceptions.
Social Skills: Storytelling can be used to develop social and emotional skills in young kids. parents/teachers/facilitator can use stories to help them understand fear, love, diversity, friendship and other complex emotions that are usually hard to explained. Storytelling can teach children about motivations and empathy through considering characters’ thoughts and actions. Preschool children can overcome shyness by telling stories in the classroom to their peers.
Values: The child identifies with the good character in the story, who has an appeal for him. Through this process, he learns the value of being good. Fables and moral stories teach children about values, in an easy and interesting manner.
Reading Skills: storytelling helps in building and improving reading skills. They learn to recognize ideas, concepts, structure and characterization through art of storytelling.
Concentration: Story telling increases concentration and listening skills and also help in increasing their attention span in young kids.
Creativity, Imagination and emotional development: Students who participate in storytelling develops creativity. Storytelling requires students to create images based on their imagination. creating stories stimulates the imagination and encourages children to combine familiar concepts in new and different ways.
By incorporating funny voices or dramatic gestures, preschool children learn how to gauge audience’s reaction and alter their stories accordingly. Children can experience diversity of various emotions through art of storytelling and can explore world and different situations outside their own environment.
Problem solving: storytelling helps in developing problem-solving skills in young kids. As young children take turns and get a chance to communicating with each other, they begin to appreciate different point of view and work together to resolve conflicts. They also develop the language and comprehension to articulate and negotiate plans and solutions.
Narrating their own stories: Story telling develops power of imagination. While listening to stories, young kids develop an automatic interest to create their own stories and use their own language to share their ideas. They are natural storytellers whether from experience, imagination or memory. Allowing them to tell their own stories and retell other stories encourage a sense of self-esteem.
Points to remember while telling story
Choosing the right story: Seek out stories which naturally have an element of creating a sense of curiosity in young kids and make them excited to participate actively. It is easier to increase children’s attention span by using stories which encourage participation, especially when it involves rhymes, song and repetition.
The story must raise their curiosity, entertain them, stimulate their imagination, appeal to their sense of adventure, be in tune with their hopes, desires and fears. It should help them develop their intellect and self-confidence. In other words, the story should enrich children’s life and relate to aspects of their personality.
Age Group, simple and clear: Select age-appropriate stories, so that the kids of that age group can relate to the story and take it in a true sense. Also, story should be in a simple language and easy to understand for young kids.
Easy names: Names in the story need to be easy to remember. If the children cannot relate to the character, they will not attend to the story.
Should not be too scary: Nothing should be too scary or too loud to happen without any explanation. If it is must to be loud to make a certain character work, you should warn the children in advance to avoid a state of fear and anxiety in kids after listening to story.
Should make sense: Silly is great, but story must make sense. Having silly characters is fun, but you need to have a sensible character to balance it out and make everything comes out right.
Commit yourself to the story: Believe in the value of the story and be enthusiastic while sharing it with listeners. Commit oneself to the story, trust it, get into it, and tell it wholeheartedly.
Voice modulations, facial expressions and gestures: Instead of telling the story in one voice pitch, use different and interesting voice modulations, facial expressions and gestures. modulation in voice grabs attention of the children fast and helps them to understand the story easily.
facial expression and gestures also help a lot in making better impression. Showing how ugly the troll was by scrunching up your face and changing your voice is much more effective then describing his contorted features. Invite the children to get involved with you, they will invest more in the story and have better understanding of the characters.
Maintaining eye contact: Having an eye contact with the children creates a bond and togetherness and increase their concentration too.
Sitting on floor: This makes them feel you are one among them and gives the sense of togetherness. You can have a better eye contact and their will be no chance of losing attention.
Enhancing the art of story telling
Most of the children are visual thinkers and when you tell them a story, they are using their imagination. Using props allows them to see the story visually and they will enjoy it more.
Some of the common props are
- Flannel boards
- Flash cards
- Costume and props
- Music and dance
We all are aware about these props, but it is important to use the right type of prop in the right manner for the right type of story.
Remember story telling parents are found to have better emotional bond with the child, it not only creches the children to be creative but also make them dynamic with their thoughts and actions.
Swati Mathur is a Certified Image Consultant and NABET and SQA certified life skills trainer. She believes in ABC of life, where A stands for Appearance, B for Behaviour and C for Communication Skills. All these three elements improve the probability of success in people’s life. She has also authored a book “A2Z of Image Management” aiming to help people in improving their self-worth, self-image and confidence.
As an Employability and job coach she has trained 2000+ students, 500+teachers and other professionals and successfully placed them across various industries. As an EQ Coach she helps her clients to master their emotions, reduce stress and develop emotional Intelligence. She believes in empowering and enabling people to become the best version of themselves.
She owns two blogs imagemakeover.net where she writes about mental health, image management, soft skills and social causes while swatisworldofthoughts.com. is all about book reviews, web series reviews and poetries with some random thoughts.
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