This is the last article in our series on “Young children and stories”. It will concentrate on telling stories without using any aids such as a storybook to Preschoolers.
This story telling method will test your skills of voice modulation, facial expressions and dexterity of hand movements needed to bring the story characters to life. However, the resulting joy on your child’s face will be worth the effort you put in.
Here we go!
Story selection options:
- Match it with your child’s age, interests and request.
- Select family themes including both humans and animals.
- Select themes on “Good” winning over “Bad.”
- Older Preschoolers like fairy tales and humorous stories.
- Make up spontaneous stories, using the theme, setting and /or characters suggested by your child.
- Use themes based on behavior/s, you want to inculcate in your child. E.g. you can use her favorite character as a hero of the story. Before you know it, your daughter will follow the behavior set by her favorite character!
How to tell stories:
- Begin by naming the story, the theme and character/s and the primary setting of the story.
- As you start narrating the story, bring characters to life by your tonal adjustments, facial expressions and gestures/hand movements to suit the various characters, their emotions and the story situation. e.g. When depicting a stomachache of a little boy, distort your face as if in pain, clutch your tummy and bend over ,and call out “Mama, it hurts” in a little girl’s voice.
- Whenever you introduce a new character or a setting with voice and movements, let them just blend in so that there is no break in your story line. Otherwise your child will get distracted.
- You can bring the setting alive by making sounds of falling rain, a swaying tree in the strong wind or revving up of a car engine.
- Use rhymes, jingles, repetitive or fun words/sentences at correct places, throughout the story e.g. “The huffing and puffing and related words “by the big bad wolf when he meets each of the three little pigs are all time favorites with young children. Your child will repeat the funny parts along with you. She learns to memorize by repetition.
- Have a happy ending. Your daughter will feel secure when finally, after a lot of tribulations, things are settled happily e.g. how the big bad wolf was punished and driven away for trying to eat the three little pigs.
- Last, remember to ask your child if she liked the story and, which character she liked the best and why. Such questions will help you find out if you have fulfilled the goals of your story telling session such as; did my child enjoy the story? Does my child identify with the hero of the story or not.” You can also find out the kind of concepts she has gained and concepts that need to be clarified.
Select developmental benefits for your child
- Identifies and emotes with a character.
- Learns about good behaviors or about concepts such as “good” winning over “bad”, from the characters of the story.
- Improves concentration, memory, vocabulary, attention span, new concepts and so on, by listening from the beginning to the end of a story.
- And, learns new words/vocabulary as she listens with attention.
This way you can analyze other things your three year old may have picked up from the story telling session.Our next series will be on older children and books.