“Remember what it’s like to be a child!”
So many adults have completely forgotten the magic and wonder of childhood.
Sadly, for some adults, the magic of imagination and carefree play simply did not exist for them as children.
Some had to deal with difficult and tragic circumstances that required them to grow up far too fast.
Others were surrounded by adults who didn't encourage this imaginative play and so it was lost to them.
Here's the good news; when you start storytelling with children, it’s your chance to capture the magic once more.
Children naturally possess the special power of imagination and are only too willing to share it with any adults who are available to share it with them. If you take a look at my previous post from Storytelling in a school, you will find that children are natural storytellers.
Whether you’re a parent, carer or teacher, I've gathered together some useful tips from my 10 years experience of professional storytelling for kids.
Create your own den with your children, fill it with soft blankets, cushions and favourite stuffed toys.
If you can't make a covered den, then create a "storytelling armchair" and curl up in the cuddly cosiness to tell your stories.
Play some nice classical music in the background, relaxing and soothing to little brains after a busy day of loud noises!
Once your child is in this space, they will know that it's time for stories and imagination!
Start by Reading a Book.....
By reading the words and ideas of another creative mind, we are inspired with ideas of our own.
If you choose a book about talking animals, use it as an invitation to ask your child what adventures they think their neighbour's dog gets up to. Or what their granny's cat might say if they had a voice. The possibilities are endless....
Once Upon a Time....
Once you're cosy, relaxed and have got the creative imagination flowing, it's time to start your story!
Start off simply.
It can be the classic "Once Upon a Time....", "Fadó, Fadó...." (Má tá tú ag scéalaíocht as Gaeilge)
And then add your characters, ".....there was a little boy/girl/some children, who wanted to go on an adventure...."
Ask your child what their character(s) name is/are. Usually the child will love the story to be all about them or someone they know.
Stuck for an idea? No problem! Gather up some props and prompts to help you.
Sometimes a simple prompt is all that a child needs to get started. And once started, they won't want to stop!
Here are some ideas of simple props you can use:
* Scarves/wraps/pashminas: can represent the ocean, clouds, sky etc
* Plastic zoo or farm animals: these can talk or be silent
* Teddy Bears/Dolls:
* Hand/Finger Puppets: using puppets can help children express difficult emotions such as grief, sorrow or anger
Go on a nature treasure hunt and find:
* Shells: for a seaside adventure
* Stones/Leaves/Seeds: for an adventure in the enchanted forest
I hope you have an amazing storytelling adventure!