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The gift of storytelling


To tell a story is not new……we all do it quite naturally when sharing stories about our experiences and adventures, but when it comes to telling a story or a tale to children, many of us think we can’t!
Sharing and telling stories is as old as the very first people who inhabited our world. It was a way of recording history, passing down stories of time through generations, to preserve significant cultural events and beliefs.
To listen to a story and let the words create pictures in your mind rather than see the images on paper, is a rich and imaginative experience, with every listeners interpretation finding its own way. To tell a story with props brings life and movement to the characters that engage the listener as they too ‘live in to’ the story. This is particularly enjoyable and appropriate for young children.
So is storytelling an art……it certainly can be but know this: a child will love and behold the gift of a story told to them, no matter the experience of the teller. When you tell a story, you are truly present and absorbed and that is where the beauty and wonder lies, for both listener and storyteller.
Stories can be taken from written versions that you re-tell in your own way, or you can create stories around your child’s interests. Some stories can become like a chapter book with a new adventure/same characters explored with each telling. Your confidence will grow and fill you with delight as your child requests your stories over and over. I remember starting this process at bed time, lying beside my 3year old, by soft lamp light and telling stories in a quiet voice. This became a little ritual that nourished us for years and soon included a sibling. Our stories got bolder and more adventurous as both their joy and my confidence grew.
Therapeutic story telling is another profound tool worth exploring that can be incredibly enlightening in working through or raising difficult or challenging situations or behaviours. A story can set a scene and explore the concept of concern using characters outside of yourselves, to reinforce appropriate or positive outcomes. Such stories may initiate further discussion with the child or simply wash over them to be absorbed gently and organically.
Below are some links to our parenting resource books, including storytelling references and story props such as silk cloths and small characters:
Therapeutic storytelling
Bedtime storytelling
Dolls and weefolk

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