Remember when you were a child and looked forward to story time with mum and dad? Or maybe that didn’t happen, but you saw it in movies and vowed to do it with your child. Well, why not? Stories shape a child’s imagination and sometimes even help them discover and learn more about the world and themselves.
Bond with your child over a good story and become more engaging with the following super tips.
#1 Choose a story your child will love and learn from
Notice how a child can be fully attentive when her favourite show is on? It can be the same with books. Find one you know will interest her and set aside a story time for it. Look for valuable lessons she can learn. Whether it’s a classic fairy tale, a story about a fictional hero, or folklore culture—there’s a book for every child out there. You can also think back to the time when you were still a child: what stories did you love and appealed to you the most?
#2 Move around and be expressive
Although stories are told with words, creating movements will make your storytelling even more engaging. You can use grand gestures if the story requires it or simply use your hand alongside facial expressions. Be energetic, thrilling, or scared if that’s what the story entails. Make the characters become more remarkable by being animated. This way, your child will feel the emotions the story conveys and will be most likely to interact with you. By being more immersed, your child will be able to comprehend the story better too.
#3 Use sounds
Sounds, just like words, are powerful storytelling tools. They bring the setting closer to the listener and make emotions more relatable. You don’t have to be the one creating all the sounds (although that can be a blast too!). Try downloading background music and sound effects online and play them using your phone during storytelling time.
#4 Experiment and create your own plot twist
There’s often that one story your child loves to hear over and over again. The next time she requests for it, recreate the ending or experiment with the plot. See how she reacts and ask her to help you finish the story with the new plot. This does not only show her how fun storytelling can be; it also strengthens your child’s imagination by being able to create her own plot, settings, or characters.
#5 Introduce new ways of telling stories
With technology on one hand and creativity on the other, books aren’t the only reference material to help you tell a story. You can use interactive means like videos, games, or images. Picture-based storytelling can ignite a child’s imagination in ways that mere words can’t. Game-based storytelling, on the other hand, gives your kid the chance to participate in the process. The key is to mix it up to keep your child excited and engaged when it’s story time.