National Storytelling Week

Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,635 Championing
Next week sees a celebration of National Storytelling Week, storytelling is a beautiful way of communicating life experiences using creative imagination. 

Some of my favourite memories of parenting involve story telling, whether that was made up stories or reading a book to my kids.  We are a home of readers and I think the fact that it was a normal day to day activity when they were young promoted a real love of stories in the kids as they grew up.

We have been talking about sleep all week and the brilliant @SleepPractitioners have been talking about bedtime routines.  For me, a story has always been an integral part of the bedtime. We used to call it the 4 B's - Bath, Bottle, Book and Bed.

Some people have a great talent of making up stories and creating a magical tale off the top of their heads, for others that is not so easy.  I play a game with my kids called 'fortunately, unfortunately' where we take it in turns to create a line of a story, each time you have to start with the word 'fortunately' or 'unfortunately', it is silly and fun and gets everyone thinking creatively.

Perhaps you could tell your children a real life story? The story of their birth, a fun holiday you had, a tale about their grandchildren? Or you can ask them to tell you a story.

There are so many wonderful children's books about, whether you can buy new or second hand (Scope charity shops always have a brilliant selection!) or by using your local library, books are such a great way to read stories with children. 

If reading is difficult for you or your child, picture books can be fun or there is a great range of audio books available that you can share together.

Book Trust has some advice on how to read with your children:

  • Set aside some time - Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV/radio/computer.
  • Ask your child to choose a book - Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.
  • Sit close together -  Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.
  • Point to the pictures - If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
  • Encourage your child to talk about the book - Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling, or how the book makes them feel.
  • And lastly, above all - make it fun! It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices: children love this!
For a long time, disability hasn't been represented in children's books, but this seems to be changing.  We had @TruthandTails telling us recently about their book Roxy the Raccoon and Dan White is a dad who turned his daughter into a super hero in his comic Department of Ability/.  You can find a whole list of inclusive books here too.

How do you use storytelling in your family? Do you have a favourite book for children you would like to recommend? How are stories part of your bedtime routines?