From Little Red Riding Hood, Anansi the Spider and Hansel and Gretel, being told stories as a child is something many of us remember. Short storytelling has a number of benefits from sparking creativity to instilling moral values in children.
In this digital age, traditional storytelling (by voice) can often be forgotten about. However, traditional storytelling, digital storytelling and online story books can still spark the excitement many of us had as kids while listening to our favourite stories.
So, if you’re looking for a reason to read more stories to the children in your life, here are 5 benefits of storytelling for kids:
1. Teaches values
Moral based stories are a great resource to teach children valuable life lessons.
Short storytelling is a way for parents, teachers and guardians to quickly pass on knowledge to younger generations. Popular children stories like The Hare and the Tortoise teach children valuable lessons, in this case that you can be successful by doing things slowly.
2. Teaches differences
Diverse story books are an amazing way to teach children about others.
Identification with a character can keep children interested in a story. Books with a diverse range of characters can help children find themselves in a story. It also helps children understand that not everyone is the same, but that individuality is what makes a person.
Books that include different genders, races, religions, blended families, physical and mental health challenges and neurodiversity can help children learn from an early age the power in being different. It can also help them feel part of something bigger.
3. aids creativity
Interacting with a story and being encouraged to think about it further can be a key part of a child’s learning.
Making puppets or character models after listening to a story is a great way to engage more areas of the brain. Creative children are often more engaged with a story if they have made something which connects to it. So, next time you’re reading a story to a child, consider other creative activities you can do to make them connect with it more.
4. A Source of entertainment
Digital entertainment is on the rise, but storytelling should not be forgotten.
In 2013, The Guardian produced an article that suggests children’s reading is shrinking due to apps, games, and YouTube. So, ditch YouTube and find a more connecting source of entertaining. Not only can short storytelling be fun for the whole family, it can also develop children’s reading habits.
5. Helps with brain development
Stories can shape our brains, helping us to connect with strangers and be more empathic.
Stories that are emotionally compelling are also remembered better than facts. The emotions produced from a story can help us connect with the characters. Children and adults are less likely to forget the emotional simulation a story has provided them.
How can I start sharing stories with the children in my life?
Now we’ve seen the benefits of storytelling for children, you may want to share more stories with the children you know. Here’s how we’d suggest getting started:
- Start small, with one or two stories a week and increase from there
- Consider the values of each story you tell and how this will help with brain development
- Look into more diverse books and focus on teaching children about others
- Use resources like For the Love of Reading to promote the joy of reading
Why we love reading
At For the Love of Reading, we believe that reading is a gift to be shared, not just a goal to reach. At the heart of our organisation is a passion for all children to enjoy reading as a leisure activity.
We offer resources, guides and software to equip schools and parents to facilitate a love of reading at home. Find out how you can get involved here.