Storytelling - parents and young children.

Stories, storytelling and story reading come out of play and 'baby talk' with young children.

Playing with toys, mobiles, objects, spoons etc and making sounds and movement gives parents a chance to start developing little stories. For example:

'Here comes the dog. Woof. Woof. Nice doggy.'

'Here comes the cow. Moo. Moo. Nice cow.'

This can become more of a story by adding something like:
'The dog chases the cow. Woof, woof, woof, woof!'

Make this fun by having the toy cow run away from the dog and hide behind the child or the pillow or the parent.

By making sure this is fun and playful it can be done again and again.

It can become more of a story by adding more language and more story structure.

'Once upon a time there was a nice, little dog. 'Woof, woof, woof.'

Along came a cow.
'Hullo Mrs Cow.'
'Moo. Moo. Moo. Hullo Mr Farmer. Hullo little girl.
'Please don't eat our strawberries Mrs Cow,' said the little girl.
'Noooooooooo,' said the cow.

But do you know what, when Mr Farmer and little girl weren't looking (cover eyes with hand), Mrs Cow began to eat the strawberries.

'Oh no! Naughtly cow. Shoo cow shoo,' said the little girl.

'Dog! Chase that cow,' said Mr Farmer.

'Woof, woof, woof.'

And the nice, little dog chased Mrs Cow all the way back to the farm.

'Mooo, mooo.'

Pictures and Picture books
Stories can also be developed the same way from pictures. I think the really basic picture books with little or no text and lots of photos or drawings of animals, things or places are great places to start.

The cow and dog stories above could all be done from a farm yard animal book. A book with a collection of machines might end up with stories like the 'Bob the Builder' series.

Nursery Rhymes and Traditional Songs
Are wonderful sources of language, conversation and stories. Sing them, play with them, add to them with toys and fun and more stories. Some of my most popular preprep stories start with a nursery ryhme and continue on. Mary Had a Little Lamb is a good example of this.

I think it is important to mix up your sources of stories right from the beginning. Use some soft toys or mobiles, use picture books, use blocks or cups or flowers and play with them.

Have fun and play and out of that play let stories happen and grow.

Top of this page. The Art of Storytelling 'Storytelling in Australia'
Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
Brisbane, Australia
Tel. 61 (0)7 3846 3135
Mob. 0417 478408
All contents copyright © 2009, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
Last update: 10th March, 2009.
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