There is no doubt that children’s imagination is superior to our own. When encouraged, kids can craft little stories within minutes, without much inspiration or help. While we may get lost in the technicalities of penning stories, kids have an inherent “story thread” that brings them from the beginning, through the middle and right through to the happy or perhaps not so happy end.
When you encourage kids to write a story, they soon get into it, and seeing their imagination at work is just amazing. Their in-built sense of fun as well as drama perfectly lends itself for development. The vast majority of kids love the story crafting process and get plenty out of it.
Getting kids involved in storytelling is one of the most mutually beneficial and pleasurable experiences, but how do you get started? Let’s take a look at some ways to encourage your kids to craft stories.
Funny, Informal Storytelling
The following method is similar to the use of story cubes, some of you may be familiar with. You start off by selecting ten random words, preferably a mixture of nouns and verbs. Try to choose unrelated words to set the scene for a particularly funny story.
Once you’ve written your list, hand it to each one of your kids and ask them to write a story. Each word must be included in the story. Don’t give them any more than ten minutes, they won’t need more than that anyway. When done, ask each child to read the story out loud. While some of the stories may not make sense, you are sure to have a laugh. Each child will find her/his own way to work the words into the story and in most cases, the results are hilarious.
The more often you create word list for this exercises, the better you will be equipped to provide a rich list and set your kids up for amazing stories.
Introducing the Art of Story Writing
If you would like to introduce your kids to the art of storytelling, start off by reading a few stories to illustrate the elements of a story. By asking the right questions, you can elicit the concept of “characters, story beginning, middle, and end” and highlight that each story contains some sort of a “problem” in need of solving.
Once you feel that they have grasped the basic principles of storytelling, you may ask them to craft characters, a main event and a resolution, all wrapped up in a story. You’ll be surprised how well equipped your child will be to create a strong protagonist, a dilemma and a resolution.
If you’d like to make it really easy, you may provide the beginning of a story and simply ask the kids to continue and finish the story.
Storytelling is for Kids of All Ages
You can ask a four-year old or a fourteen-year old to write a story, both will enjoy it and both will set the story at precisely the right level. Obviously, you provide as little or a much help as you see fit. Group storytelling exercises are also great fun, because kids inspire each other and jointly develop stories without any difficulty.
Doing story writing exercises will improve your child’s verbal skills and enhance the child’s imagination. Stories can also be a great way of developing problem solving skills and creative thinking.
Apart from all that, storytelling is just great fun. The next time the weather is really bad, take your kids aside and get them to write a story and perhaps even turn their story into a little play. No doubt, you’ll have lots of fun.