Tell your child a story today!

20th March 2013
Tell your child a story today!

You may not know but it's World Storytelling Day today, a global celebration of storytelling that should have children curled up on their parents lap, totally absorbed by a captivating story...

Except, if you're anything like me, you'll find it much harder than you imagine to make up a good story on the spur of the moment. I tend to start with great fanfare and expectation (often on a long car journey when the children are getting bored) and then have to bring it to a swift and unsatisfactory 'Happily-Ever-After' conclusion when my imagination deserts me.

So here are our five tips for a happy, harmonious story time:


  • Use locations and characters that are relevant to the child. My son is obsessed with superheroes at the moment so a perfect story for him typically involves him transforming into a superhero who vanquishes the 'baddies'.


  • Give it some thought before starting the story. It's surprisingly difficult to keep the momentum going.


  • String the story out - so one instalment a night for a week. In the classic Charles Dickens style, end each 'chapter' on a cliff hanger!


  • Invite the child to contribute. So you could set the scene and then see where they take it. This is good for involving additional siblings and Dad/Grandparents with everyone taking a turn. Or they could make decisions along the way. Should the child take the left fork in the road or the right fork. Did the child stay in her bed as Mum asked or creep out?


  • Ask the child to come up with three things - a character, a location and an item and make this the basis of the story.


Happy storytelling tonight and please share any of your experiences and advice.




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21st March 2013 - Charlotte W
Super top tips! You have got my creativity going. Will try 2 of the five tonight. Thank you.x
20th March 2013 - Lianne
Great post x
20th March 2013 - Virginia
I love the tips on engaging children in story telling but have found that shyness can inhibit them when expected to contribute. Anecdotes referring to parents' memories of their misdemeanours can be a good starting point: the naughtier the better!
20th March 2013 - Holly
You're so right! We tried a 'family storytelling session' tonight and Francesca could only contribute in a very small voice from behind the sofa! She shrieked if anyone looked at her. Otherwise, quite successful!
21st March 2013 - C.martin
Great tips. I used to find that telling the ring cycle was popular. Giants, castles, superheroes of a certain gothic ilk, weapons and maidens. They live in the children's memory for a long time, along with the old Greek legends. Omitting the incest,of course!
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