We all have recollections of storytime from way back. All that ever mattered when you were a child was good fun – lots of it, and spending time with family and friends.
As a child, you had that wild, insatiable, unquenchable imagination that was part of our daily lives. Now that you are all grown up and have kids of your own, you might be wondering whether it is a good idea to read them stories. You might be wondering whether storytime really benefited you as a child.
So, did it? Are there any benefits of storytime for children?
Yes, Storytime plays an essential role in the proper growth and development of children. I can correctly guess that the stories you were told as a child have stayed with you until now.
In one way or the other, they have helped to shape your unique personality and make you who you are at present. It is for this reason that this tradition should be passed on from one generation to the next. That is why you should make storytime an essential part of your kids’ growth process.
Telling stories to your kids does not have to be hard. It is quite easy to take up this habit since there are many ways to do it. There’s an infinite number of ways you can make this a fun time for both you and your children.
You can read storybooks to them, tell them a fun, educative family story you were told as a child or even sing it to them in the form of a lullaby.
Any time is storytime for
kids so, you do not have to do it alone. You can encourage them to read and
share stories with each other.
The techniques you employ in storytelling heavily depend on your child’s age.
Storytime is not only a time for your kids but also a chance to get to connect with them. After a long day’s work, reading a bedtime story to your child can be quite relaxing. You also get to learn a lot about your kids and who they really are. Besides, kids’ stories have a lot to offer in terms of their richness in essential life lessons you might have missed.
Sometimes when I don’t have time to read books to my kids, I take them to a storytelling session at the library or at the bookstore. I feel like it shows them that even if mommy sometimes doesn’t have time to read them stories herself, she still cares enough to ensure that they get proper storytime sessions.
If you do not have time during the week, you can do this over the weekends. Plus you also get to do all manner of fun activities afterward like taking walks in the park or going out for ice cream.
2. It helps your kids to discover the value of books and stories.
Teaching your kids to read at an early age helps them to learn a lot by themselves. They begin to appreciate the lessons they can learn from books. It teaches them to read, comprehend and to follow the stories they read. They learn that books can be fun too and are filled with lots of adventure and wonder.
3. Nurtures your child’s creativity and sparks their imagination.
Children live in their own
imaginary worlds. They perceive things differently and have a wonderful sense
of wonder. They pick up on many things throughout the day and always manage to
learn from varying situations they are exposed to.
The mind of a child needs constant stimulation by way of stories, toys, and games. They live purely by imagination. This is the reason why they are so adventurous and open to new experiences. Storytime is a crucial element in the child’s development. It gives them the material they need to fill their world with new possibilities and experiences.
Kids exposed to hours of stories gradually begin to be more outgoing. They seek out to explore and socialize almost effortlessly. Their creativity is much more noticeable compared to kids who do not get this kind of exposure. They sketch and draw more, and begin to be more spontaneous by the day.
4. Helps to increase your child’s curiosity
As their imagination grows, your kid’s curiosity increases twofold. They become more alert to their immediate surroundings. Curious kids ask more questions about the world and about life. They seek out new experiences and pick up on more concepts.
This curiosity leads them to become more observative. Seeking out the outside world is beneficial for your child’s development. They ask more questions and, as they find the answers they seek, they learn the useful lessons life has to offer them.
5. Add to your child’s social and communication skills.
Encouraging your kids to share stories makes them more accommodating. Through stories, they learn that they first have to be understood to get their points across. They try harder to make their stories fun and enjoyable. In this way, they gradually learn how to communicate.
Through sharing stories, children become more social and receptive to other people and the ideas or stories they have to offer. Stories teach them the values of love, friendship and the sense of community. Having learned these concepts, they quickly apply them to their own lives.
6. It helps to develop your child’s early literacy skills, aiding your child to get to know sounds, words, and language.
The whole activity of storytelling involves a lot of things. There is the reading part that can be done by either of the parties involved. There is also the listening part. The reader has to articulate the words accurately for the listeners to understand what is being said. Picking up on this skill builds the child’s vocabulary and language skills which do come in handy when he/she is ready to start school.
To make stories much more interesting, the reader has to apply tonal variation in his/her speech. This use of varying tones in our voices also helps the child to learn how to speak in the most attractive ways to keep his/her audience captivated.
Taking your kids to the library where storytime sessions are being held gives the children a time to practice reading with their quiet voices. They thus learn to read quietly and refrain from voicing what they are reading. Cultivating this skill at a young age will put them a step ahead among his/her peers.
7. Teaches your child to sit still.
Sitting still for prolonged periods is a skill learned during storytelling. As the reader or storyteller does what he/she does best, the children sit and listen to the story to its entirety. They, in turn, become trained and conditioned to do this whenever the story is being told.
This is a skill that is picked up at childhood and will follow your kids into adulthood. You’ve all met that one person who struggles to sit still during meetings or fidgets uncontrollably during interviews. Though taken for granted, sitting still is a critical skill which is best learned during childhood.
Listening is also a skill that can be instilled in this fashion. When the child is seated still in a comfortable environment that does not offer distractions, they can pay better attention to what is being said. Once learned, this skill stays with them throughout their lives.
8. It helps your child distinguish between reality and fantasy.
Stories can help children learn what is real and what is not. Characters in stories are in almost all cases, fantastical and personified. They may include a trickster monkey or an old wise owl that has seen it all. The sense of wonder kids have allows their tiny brains to make sense of all that.
The creation of these ‘unreal’ creatures is kids’ brain food. Through these creatures, children learn to make connections between what is real and what is not. The inconsistency that these characters have with the opposing real world they live in is what makes these stories so pleasant to children. Children are masters of the question ‘what if?’.
9. It helps your child understand how to deal with change, frightening events, and the strong, accompanying emotions.
Children’s stories are packed with raw emotion. The words and colorful pictures used effortlessly blend to evoke emotions in their purest forms. Most books feature noticeable patterns of emotions like love and friendship, sadness, happiness, fear, courage and, so many more.
Situations rapidly change in these books and, through the creative use of characters, children get the chance to gain emotional intelligence in its simplest forms. They passively participate in the plot feeling what the characters feel. Doing this allows the child to learn how to deal with that unique set of emotions.
Stories are fun, especially when you are a kid. Everyone has memories of stories you were told as a kid. They remind you of the good times when everything was simple and, the possibilities were endless. You want your kids to experience that, right? Telling stories to your children is one way of gifting them with these timeless memories.
So whenever you feel too lazy to do it and begin wondering if it is even worth the struggle, remember what you have read here.
You do not have to be good at telling stories. Your kids will enjoy and appreciate the stories you tell them whichever way you do it. Let’s put smiles on those faces!