Why Is Storytelling Important For Children?
Date: 19 Mar 2016
Sunday 20th March is World Storytelling Day. A day dedicated to storytelling in all its different forms. Storytelling is fun for both adults and children but it’s also important for children too. Here’s why!
Encouraging language development in your children is essential and storytelling is a great way to do it. It enables them to develop their listening skills when you are telling them a story, but also it allows them to practise their speech when they are reciting the story to you or they are reading their own story.
ImaginationIt’s so important for children to have and be able to express imagination – storytelling allows them to do this. Hearing a story will enable them to imagine what the characters look like and sound like, but it also allows them to think about what the world in the story is like. Even better, if they are creating their own story they are relying on their imagination.
Learning about other cultures
Storytelling doesn’t have to be focused on fiction stories, it includes real life stories and experiences too. Hearing about other places, people, beliefs and experiences can teach children about other cultures, traditions and about how other people live.
Reading your child a story and then asking them questions about the story is a great way to develop their memory. It requires them to think about the story and what happened and pin point moments they remember.
Empathy and understanding
Listening to a story means listening to the characters and learning to think how they think, this is great for children as it allows them to develop a sense of empathy and an understanding of other people. You could ask questions like ‘How do you think this character felt when this happened?’ to get them to think more about the story.
How to celebrate World Storytelling Day:
- Read, read and read some more! What better way to spend World Storytelling Day than to read some of your favourite stories with your children. You could each choose a story and take it in turns to read each one.
- Listen to a story. You could tell a story that you know, or you could listen to a story on a CD or a tape. There are plenty available and many even come with books now so you and your children can read along as you listen to the words.
- Make up your own story. There are so many stories to be told, so why not add to that collection and make your own up. You could make it up as you go along, while asking your child to have some input on the characters, places and plots. Or, you could ask your children to make up their own stories using pictures, words and actions. This will encourage their imagination, language skills and increase their confidence.
- Recite an experience. If your children aren’t confident enough to make up their own story then ask them to recite an experience they’ve had that they enjoyed. Describing the location, the people and how they felt during that experience.
Storytelling doesn’t have to just be reading words, it’s listening, watching, telling and understanding. But most importantly, it’s fun!
How will you celebrate World Storytelling Day this year? Tell us on social media!