Almost all cultures have a tradition of storytelling, especially to their young ones. Most adults can think of a time when they were told stories by their parents and grandparents. And children love stories because they like meeting new people, animals, and other creatures and visiting new places through these narratives. It is an integral part of family life for many.
Disney.BYJU’s Early Learn app understands these benefits. It uses storytelling to expand the child’s literary skills by helping them improve their vocabulary and grammar. Moreover, it also helps children develop better communication skills — children learn to listen intently, gather information, and understand and ask questions. For example, in the video below, children learn about consonant blends in a fun manner through a story titled ‘The Friendship Spell.’
A book by Margaret Read MacDonald, The Parent’s Guide to Storytelling: How to Make Up New Stories and Retell Old Favorites, mentions a few benefits of storytelling for children. Margaret Read MacDonald is an American storyteller and a children’s book author who has published more than 65 books. Here are some of the storytelling benefits listed in her book:
Storytelling allows parents to tell their children things without telling them explicitly. It allows parents to instruct their children on important issues. For example: A character that is greedy gets into trouble. It helps children understand that being greedy is not okay. Parents can find their child’s areas of development and tell them relevant stories to imbibe those lessons.
Storytelling also contributes to children’s education. It exposes children to finer language and expands their vocabulary. And eventually, when children start composing and telling stories their story sense and oral skills develop respectively.
Storytelling has been used to record history for ages. Stories allow us to make sense of our experiences. Almost all families have incidents that have turned into stories that can be passed down the generations. It allows children to develop a stronger sense of family and community at large.
Storytelling allows children to explore different emotions such as fear while encountering danger from a safe distance. Children gain confidence about their own abilities from the story’s lead character, which enables them to deal with difficult situations. These stories essentially serve as role models for overcoming adversity.
Stories allow children’s imagination to run wild. They allow children to paint a picture, thanks to words. It enables them to experience a rich mental world inside them. Parents encourage their children to share their imagination with them in order to take them to even further realms.
Storytelling creates a bond between the parent and the child. Parents often cuddle with young children while telling them stories and imagining the story setting together. No matter which story you are telling your children, these things stay constant and foster parent-child intimacy.
Parents do not need any special skills to tell stories to their children. All they need is a caring heart and enough time to tell the story. Stories can be told anywhere and anytime – during a long drive, at bedtime, while waiting for someone, or on a particularly difficult day.
Do you often tell stories to your children? Have you noticed any of the above benefits before? Are there any tips that you would like to share with other parents? Do leave a comment below or drop a note at [email protected].
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!
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