As per Albert Einstein “if you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales and if you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales”. Storytelling is perhaps the most powerful way to put your ideas and organises your experience while you communicate to others.
Storytelling is perhaps the oldest form of education. In case of toddlers, it is definitely a strong tool which will help your child learn vocabulary, understand various expressions or sounds and give a shape to their imagination or dreams. It also helps to develop early literacy skills and make them comfortable to different languages for communication.
In my case, I love to tell stories and my son loves to listen stories. Be it in the bedtime or during a long journey in the back of the car, my son never let me stop my mouth. It has certainly become another beautiful way to strengthen our relationship. Even, there are moments in a day that he doesn’t want to play or does not feel good or becomes cranky, then we together just sit in our favourite place and lost in our story world (mostly his favourite construction vehicles story) and then Bang!!!! He returns in a happy mood with double energy.
I must say that story telling is my biggest life saver from my toddler’s tantrums and I almost started story telling when my son was hardly 5-6 months. (I know that time he does not understand anything but it helps me to stick to his daily routine). You can start story telling or reading books to your baby as early as you like– the earlier the better.
Benefits of story telling in my toddler’s life
There are many advantages of storytelling because it promotes brain development and shape their imaginations. Everyone must be having their own experience and I am quite sure you have your own advantage. Here I will share my experience, out of which I have got immensely benefited (as everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and wisdom to share……Right????)
- Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas and thoughts: As a mother, we always try to put good thoughts to our child’s mind, so that it will help them develop a positive mindset and tackle problems in their life. But it is not possible always to teach a child in an adult language. But then, storytelling s a good option to present your thoughts before your child in their language. You don’t have to read books always. You can try telling stories from your culture that will help instilling morals in children (if my kid does any thing wrong or thing which I think he should not do, then I try telling stories including his favourite characters and it always work for me).
- Story telling helps a child understand a change or new events and environments: A child’s life is a blank diary. As they get older, the pages get filled up. During this initial phase, they will face many new and strange situation or frightening event and we parents have to tackle that situation tactfully. I choose storytelling to prepare my little boy in advance for any new events and it worked for me. (I told him about the event repeatedly through stories before 3-4 days and he at least try to give that situation a chance with patience).
- Storytelling create sparks in your child’s brain, helps his communication and social skills: Storytelling always brings your child’s attention to the subject matter. It certainly leaves a big impact on developing your child’s imagination and stimulate his/ her curiosity. According to some research,” Stories develops Emotional Intelligence in child.” As we all know a person having a strong Intelligence quotient and no Emotional quotient is considered as animal and not human.
- Storytelling is a tantrum reliever: For me, stories are my best friend if I have to divert my son’s mind in different situation especially at the time of tantrums. Mostly, I use stories as a tool. Sometimes it does not work but most of the time if proves to be the sweetest way for him to overlook tantrums and move to a better mindset.
- Storytelling helps in learning the value of books and stories: if your child is interested in listening stories from an early age, then you must have noticed how they take care of their books (any type of books) and how carefully they turned the pages of their book. Overall, stories teach your child the importance of books in their life.
How to start story telling
If you have not started and want to start storytelling to your child, I have few tips how to start storytelling. I followed the same during my initial days of storytelling to my son (and the fun part is, now everyday it becomes a ritual and my boy demands a good story rather than mobile).
- Make a routine: Any time is a good time for stories. At least try storytelling one each day (mine usually reaches 5-6 short stories in a day).
- Turn off the TV: Restrict your child’s screen time to limited while telling or sharing stories. It will help him to give better concentration.
- Involve your child in your story: Children love to be a part of their favourite character’s world. You can also encourage your child by showing the pictures or toys in the story.
- Try different sounds: After all You need to be little funny while doing the storytelling. Try some funny noises and sounds. So that it will create interest among children for listening stories.
- Enjoy yourself: This is an important one. You can’t make your child enjoy listening if you do not enjoy the story by yourself. So, start with a positive mind and may be think a little what kind of storytelling you want to do for your kiddo.
- Choosing books: Choose the story books for your child wisely and age appropriately. Let your toddler choose their book at the story time.
- Reading position: Hold your child in that way where he/she can see your face as well as the book. Then he also starts enjoying the same.
If we remember our childhood days, we certainly agree how we enjoyed the stories and how eagerly we were waiting for those storyteller (sometime our parents and most of the time our grandparents). The stories were going beyond the fun elements and did teach us many life lessons. So, we need to be little fair to our children and just need to pass the same legacy. You can convey some good manners, teach how to be empathetic (putting yourself in other’s shoes) and so many things through the storytelling. So happy storytelling !!!
This is my personal experience and I am sure you have your own. If you have any do share your valuable feedback.