Story-telling with your child can be the perfect cure for the winter blues
This winter try something different with your children to cure the winter blues. Instead of simply reading to them from the books on their shelf, why not come up with your own story? Storytelling is a time-honored tradition, handed down from generation to generation. In some cases, handed-down stories turn into beautifully written-down tales, decades later as in case of the Lima Bear Stories.
You too, can create stories either on your own or with the help of your family. The result will not only be entertaining but a source of family memories as palpable as any family vacation photo album.
How to get started in creating your own family stories
To get started in creating your family story-telling memories keep these tips in mind:
- Do not be intimidated; anything you have to share is going to be interesting to your children.
- Use what is important to you. If you are super clean, for example, create a character who learns the hard way why cleaning up is important.
- Use humor. Goofy=Happy Children
- Create catchy character names. Catchy names make the story come alive and easily remembered.
Have the family join in with pieces of the story
Another way to create terrific tales is to let the story unravel by having your family add the content along with you. For example, why not turn the television off on a cold winter’s night and simply start a story much like the old children’s game “whisper down the lane?” Start with a funny scene using material that is obvious to you. Let each family member add to the story and take the story over for a while.
Enjoy as you witness the creative juices flowing. Each family member gets a chance to add and embellish until finally a completed story is created. After you get to the end of the story see if family members can repeat the story back. Did the story change? Try the story again using the new embellishments to see if the changes may become permanent changes.
Examples of story beginnings to get you started
One of the hardest tasks in creating any story is coming up with a beginning to the story. Below are some ideas of story-starters to get you on your story-telling way:
- Is a holiday near or around a corner? Make your story a holiday tale.
- Put a twist on a famous fairy tale. If the writers of Shrek and Enchanted can do it, you can too!
- Use a topic from the news. A young hero story, for example.
- A famous writer instructor once said “write what you know,” in this case, “tell what you know.” Use what interests you: a football story, a yoga story, a story about your favorite animal, etc.
- Tell a story based, loosely or closely on a relative who your children may have never met – what a wonderful way to teach them about someone special who is actually a part of them.
No matter what you decided to base your story on or how you choose to create it, remember that by storytelling you are sharing not only time with your child but a part of yourself. Enjoy making your very own story-telling memories! Let us know your successes!