Stories are a bedtime staple for most families. It is a fun and engaging part of a nightly routine that helps to calm kids down from a busy day. Who doesn’t like snuggling down under the covers for a good story?! In addition to bedtime stories, consider incorporating storytelling into play time. A great way to do this is to use props like our Little Friends 4" dolls or Puppets. Open-ended toys and props add an interactive element to the story and allow children to engage those growing imaginations even more!
Here are 7 reasons to incorporate even more storytelling into your daily parenting or caregiving routine:
If you are a parent or care for children, you know that it can often be challenging to hold a kid's attention for long. But having a regular storytelling time with your child can help improve their listening skills through practice. Over time they will become more attentive and their focus will improve. This is a skill that will become even more important once they start attending school.
When children listen to a story instead of watching a screen, it allows their mind to create the characters, enabling their creativity to come up with the setting and all of the other little details. Their mind will naturally fill in the gaps where the story doesn’t, prompting their imagination to wander as the story goes on. This enhances creativity, allowing kids to develop the ability to come up with new ideas that they can apply to their own life.
Reading or sharing stories with kids gives them the opportunity to safely express themselves and their feelings, ideas and emotions. Encouraging questions is key - curious kids are the best learners! You will begin to notice, especially with younger children that as you continue to do this activity regularly, their vocabulary will start to explode along with their comprehension of situations and ways to process and conquer conflict. Prompt them to talk about the story made them feel. Ask them how they would behave if they were a character in the story!
Storytelling is a great way to engage and exercise your child’s memory. After the story, ask them to recall some of the details. Prompt them with questions to see how much information from the story they have retained. It’s always fun to see what they remember from the story vs. what comes from their imagination!
Storytelling allows children to engage in active listening, as it requires them to pay attention and focus on the person talking. This helps them to build their patience as they listen to others speak. This will help them to see that everyone has thoughts and opinions that are worth listening to and considering.
Storytelling exposes children to new, unfamiliar things such as different cultures, traditions and places. It encourages empathy by allowing them to imagine being in the shoes of the characters. This will help them to be more accepting and tolerant of people who are different from them.
Inspires Values, Virtues and Morals
Kids of any age love listening to stories. When parents and caregivers make time to be present with them for story time, they are helping to establish a foundation of virtues that children can carry with them as they develop. Tell stories that feature characters whose values kids can emulate or tales with lessons and meaningful messages. This will help them learn about important things like honesty, integrity, goodwill, and kindness.
Storytelling plays a very important role in child development. From something as simple as talking about your day, to sharing a silly story, or something important that happened in your childhood, storytelling provides so many benefits to children!