Time For A Story, It’s..

Today sees the start of the 11th annual National Storytelling Week. It runs from 29th January until 5th February and celebrates the power of storytelling to enhance creativity and encourage imagination. If you have been following my blog for a while you probably realise that we are all big readers and we love a good yarn so I, of course, have big plans for this week!

I am going to move bedtime reading downstairs. We are going to abandon the written word and instead sit in front of the fire and tell stories. With our wide age range this could be an uncomfortable disaster but I plan to use  various tactics to encourage freedom of expression, imagination and creativity.

  • We might turn the lights off and tell stories by candle and firelight – we love doing this for Earth Hour so it’s not new to them. I have done this with classes of school children too and it is amazing what they come up with when the harsh, exposing light of electricity is removed.

  • Telling stories in the round is fun where one person starts the story and then passes it on to the next and so on around the circle
  • We may use an object to start a story, stones are good for this as are puppets, toys, a piece of jewellery, photographs, postcards, newspaper headlines or pictures from magazines.
  • We may recount some early memories and some family mythology
  • We might turn the lights back on one evening and make a big tray of gloop for everyone to play with, some of our best storytelling times have come about while we’re up to our elbows in gloop.
  • I might give them a topic to start them off or we might re-tell an old favourite ( we might even re-tell an old favourite in the style of another one…)
  • We might act out a nursery rhyme or fairy tale. One of my favourite ice breakers when working with a new class, is to split them into groups with a fairy tale each which they then have to act out using no words at all apart from the word I give them. This causes enormous hilarity and forces creative expression upon them. The group who has Jack and the Beanstalk to tell with only the word sausage to use is always a good one!

  • We will play charades, heads, bodies and legs and consequences
  • Most of all we will have fun playing with words and making up stories!

What else could we do? Have you any ideas for encouraging story telling and a love of language?


Filed under Children's Development, Family Fun, Things To Do Which Don't Involve A Screen, Tots to Teens

16 responses to “Time For A Story, It’s..

  1. Aaah, I didn’t realise it was National Story Telling week! Will have to make lots of of effort this week, especially as The Englishman is away travelling and he is great at reading lots of stories to the children!

    And YAY to the story cubes. Love hearing they are still in use! Ours, but currently Pip Squeak hogs them to throw them about the room or stick them in jars…

    Maggy x

  2. I love this post, there are some great ideas to help jazz up story’s. We are using Maggie’s cubes and I love them a lot. I havent tried candlelight story telling with the boys but will make sure that I do this week.

    Thank you for some wonderful inspiring ideas for my growing boys.

  3. What a lovely, lovely post! I think that props are an excellent way to stimulate story-telling and I sometimes use poems too. The Magic Box is a great one and I always bring out my shiny purple hat box full of odd items and indescribable things that the children can use to help them. We have invented things and used them in stories. I love your ideas and I agree that reading by candlelight is an excellent way to change the atmosphere, focus little minds and create a calm enviornment. Lovely!

    • Oh you are so right! We have a magic box too (you can see it in my side bar, in residence as my ‘Something for the Weekend’ badge), I use it when I’m teaching and at home. I’ve had many versions of it over the last 20 years (I made the first one for my PGCE teaching practice) and it is invaluable for inspiring children! Thank you, I should’ve popped that in the post, so glad you mentioned it!

  4. How awesome is that? I didn’t realise it was National Storytelling Week either. =)

  5. Wow! What an absolutely lovely idea, can I come to your house for bedtime this week please? I look forward to doing this with The Boy in the future when he is old enough.

    • Wouldn’t that be fabulous?! My lot always enjoyed when school organised an evening storytelling session when they could all go back to school in their pyjamas and snuggle in sleeping bags to listen to stories! This was followed by cocoa at school and then home to bed.

  6. What a great idea. I love reading stories to my boys but this looks like so much fun. Not sure they are quite old enough yet but I will definetly be up for this when they are older. x

  7. Some great ideas and yes, I find our children open up more in fire/candle light. xx

  8. How inspirational are you. I LOVE this post! I tell stories to my kids all the time I love proper old fashioned storytelling. My son aged 6 blogs is stories. Thanks fo rhtis

  9. How about joining – DigitalSilence 26th-28th March! helping #EarthHour, join in 3 days without technology http://bit.ly/emsZBp

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