― Laura Holloway, Founder and Chief of The Storyteller Agency
and what better way to connect with our kids than storytelling. Since the beginning my daughter loved listening to the same stories repeatedly. And we read story books to her, few books brought comfort to her. Whenever she was upset, we would bring out the books and start reading it to her.
Gradually, I learnt to use storytelling better. Few things she learnt herself through them like emotions. During COVID, I came to know of Waldorf way of schooling, and BOOM, we started exploring storytelling way more than usual. Few of the things we did :
- body movements,
- voice intonations and prosody,
- pause and pace,
- drawing and colouring stories,
- copying story texts on notebooks,
- simple maths,
- brought variations to the same story few times.
Movement was always a big challenge for us. So, we started storytelling during our walks. and it became a hit, come evening time, and my daughter would choose (picture cards or story name cards) what story she wants to listen to during our walk. Sometimes, I would bring variations like, instead of “The 3 little Pigs”, I would tell the story of “The 3 little fishes”. So, this way, we can tell about the ocean ecosystem in a miniature way.
Recently, I noticed, she was painting and one paint bottle was stuck in the box. She said, “O O, it’s stuck”. I was so amazed to hear that. She not only used the appropriate words but also the expressions.
I am a big fan of Storytelling and with right tools our kids can develop the ability to mentally travel in time. The ability to understand speech comes before reading and writing, so we are exposing children to language and cognition through it. and I feel, Telling stories is quite different from reading stories. With storytelling, we bring our own personality and individuality to it and I cannot emphasise enough on the connection it builds between the parent and the child and its a great way to build family connections, which we all struggle with. Till date, the easiest way to grab my daughter’s attention is by saying “Once upon a time ….”.