Telling stories to kids can be a great way to get them to use their imaginations. Listening to stories encourages their creativity, and helps them learn how to use words. How to tell stories to kids is a question many new parents have. It is not difficult to tell stories if you consider these points. So, here are some ways to tell children stories:
Choose stories that fit their age
Choose stories that the child can understand and are right for his or her age. Younger kids might like simple stories with a lot of repetition, while older kids might like more complicated stories.
Also read: Panchatantra Stories in English
Follow the rule of five, which means if there are more than five difficult words on a single page which the child cannot understand then do not select that book.
Use expression in narration
You can use a range of vocal tones, facial expressions, and hand movements to bring the story to life. Try different sounds for each character to make the story exciting and interesting.
Make sure it’s fun
Include the child in the process of telling the story. Ask them questions, get them to guess what might happen next, or let them add their own ideas or characters to the story.
The idea is to get them to participate in the storytelling to a small extent so that they listen actively and enjoy the session. Answering easy questions will give them confidence and validation. This way they will look forward to listening to stories.
Also read: Jataka Tales in English for kids.
Tell stories using pictures or props
Pictures or props can make your story more interesting. You can show people or important parts of the story with pictures, puppets, or even simple things.
Use flash cards, teaching learning materials, cutouts from magazines/newspapers or old coloring books. If you use images or props, it breaks the monotony of just listening and imagining. Images and props add a fun element in the storytelling experience.
You could ask younger children to identify the right image or prop for its name. For instance, a cool drink among two other food items.
Use descriptive words
Paint lively pictures with what you say. Describe the people, settings, and events in depth, so that the child’s senses and imagination are activated. This helps them see what’s going on and gets them more interested in the story.
Keep it interesting and moving
Keep the story moving at a good pace to keep the child’s attention. Change your voice’s texture, speed, and volume according to the story. This will create tension, excitement, or calm when you need to.
Personalize the story
Add details from the child’s life or things he or she is interested in. You can help them connect with the story more deeply by using their name, putting in places they know, or using themes they like.
Encourage conversation and thought
Use pre-storytelling, during-storytelling and after-storytelling conversation. For instance, before you tell the story, you could ask the kids to predict what the story is about based on the title.
During storytelling you could ask open ended questions based on your story, to get them to think creatively and critically. After you tell the story, ask the child what they think and feel about the story.
What they think about the characters and what would they do in the story. Has something similar happened in their life or how they relate to the story?
Also read: Best picture books for reading aloud to kids
Children often like to hear their favorite stories over and over again. Repetition can be comfortable, and it lets them know what to expect and take part in the story.
Be happy and have fun
Children pick up on how energetic and happy the speaker is. Act like you’re excited and enjoying the story, and have fun with the child as you tell it.
To sum up
After reading this article, you know how to tell stories to kids. Remember that telling a story isn’t just about the words you use, but also about how you make the child feel. When you tell stories to kids, enjoy the experience and let your creativity and imagination lead the way.