This week is National Storytelling Week, a whole seven days dedicated to telling stories and picking up books. This year is extra special as National Storytelling Week has reached its 18th year and is celebrated by people of all ages, so whether you’re reading stories at home, school or with family, anyone can get involved in any setting.
There is plenty of evidence to state that reading stories both aloud with adults and independently can be very beneficial to a child’s development, and with bedtime being the optimum time to wind down with a storybook, we thought we’d share a series of blogs featuring all things bedtime stories over the next few days.
A study taken with 2,000 parents recently revealed that the perfect bedtime story should be approximately eight minutes long and that key characters should include a dragon, wizards and fairies to name a few, as well as revolving around mystical places like castles and woods with the number one priority being that the story always finishes with a happy ending.
With that in mind, to start off the week we’ve done some research and we’ve decided to share some of the secrets we’ve found to telling the best bedtime stories:
- Make sure you grab your child’s attention immediately by creating an exciting introduction, making sounds and voices that effectively introduce the characters.
- Try and get your child’s input and ask them questions like “Who do you think we’re going to meet?” This will keep your child’s interest and will help them feel like they’re really getting involved.
- Start your story with an opening line that your child is likely to remember, using a phrase like “A long time ago, in a land far away…” will help add to the mystery.
- As the story goes on, remember to add lots of different sounds, voices and descriptive words to keep your little one’s interest, perhaps asking them to join in with different voices.
- As you near the end of the story, soften the tone of your voice and prepare your child for the ending, not forgetting the triumphant finale! Perhaps the princess slays the dragon and saves all of her friends.
- Then comes the end of the story – ask your child their thoughts and what their favourite part was, and if they have any questions then encourage them to share them!
Do you use any of the above tips for your child’s bedtime story? What do you enjoy about storytime the most? Let us know in the comments!