The Benefits of Storytellers for Children

A common question from parents is about storytellers and children: Why go to the trouble of taking my children to a storyteller?
The Benefits of Storytellers for Children
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Written by Naí Botello

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Many parents think it’s enough to provide children with their own small collection of fairy tales and other popular children’s stories. However, children really enjoy the educational experience of listening to someone tell a story. Storytellers for children have a skill at animating stories and making them more engrossing.

What is a storyteller?

In the distant past, a storyteller was usually someone in the children’s own family. Many generations ago, the storyteller was a family figure who told interesting and engaging anecdotes, legends, myths, and fables. These stories taught children valuable lessons.

The storyteller is a rescued figure from Spanish and Latin American cultures that has seen resurgence beginning in the 20th century.

Back then, the main objective of storytelling was to instruct children on the different kinds of dangers and adversities they might encounter. Thus, storytellers were of value because they taught all kinds of moral lessons regarding life in society.

Traditional storytellers became popular because of their artistic tendencies and expressive qualities. They had a talent for waking children’s imaginations and helping them develop their intuitive capacities.

Consequently, the messages hidden within the fictional tales would become more deeply ingrained in the children’s minds thanks to impassioned storytelling.

The basic premise of the storyteller’s work is that children often don’t know how to read themselves. They rely on adults to relay a story. Even older children who have already learned to read can enjoy a storyteller.

Ideally, the narration helps children to assimilate the moral lessons to a greater extent. It’s as if the narrator was telling them about something that happened to him personally.

By using theatrical gestures and reciting verses from memory, children believe that the professional storyteller is narrating to them about a real-life adventure. The children come to feel completely absorbed in the story and they experience the joy of living fun adventures in their imagination.

Why take my child to a storyteller?

When children see a storyteller, the experience is fun, educational, and relaxing. The entire experience is also of value because children start to enter the world of artistic expression. In the list below, we’ll outline some of the clearest benefits from storytelling:

1. Storytellers for children: Bringing them closer to the arts

Storytelling is a part of a beautiful historical tradition built on centuries of knowledge exchange between children and adults. It’s an oral tradition that’s tied to cultural identity and collective memory for educational purposes.

The Benefits of Storytellers for Children

The storyteller is an artist who is a narrator, minstrel, and actor all at once. Thus, children gain their first exposure to the arts and culture in the best way possible.

2. It generates a love of literature

Children feel a stronger impulse to read children’s literature and stories about fantasy after they visit a storyteller. This is because they start to experience emotions and stimulus by creating mental images of what the storyteller relates to them.

This is something that doesn’t happen when they see a movie where the narration is more explicit.

Moreover, in this mental exercise, it’s also believed that children become more intelligent and creative. Likewise,  they feel compelled to create their own enjoyable stories.

“By reciting literary verses from memory with theatrical gestures, the professional storyteller makes children believe that they’re narrating about a real adventure this person has actually experienced themselves.”

3. Storytellers for children: Developing the capacity to listen and to pay attention

When children listen to storytellers, they have to share the space of narration together with other classmates. This helps to develop their ability to listen and to pay attention as a result. This is because they have to be attentive to every phrase of the story so they don’t lose any details.

At the same time, it’s a great way to stimulate children’s hearing and language comprehension. In addition, the lexicon of the children also continues to increase.

The Benefits of Storytellers for Children

4. It gives children some fun time away from the television

Visiting a storyteller is also a low-tech option so that children experience a type of fun that is different from television and video games. Parents and teachers sometimes believe that video games have a negative impact on children’s learning and development.

It’s interesting to note that storytelling is very common in Latin America and Spain. It’s common in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Cuba, Argentina, and Chile.

There are more than 100 national and international storytelling festivals at present and these countries also have permanent storytelling events that cater to children.

Don’t wait any longer; take your children to enjoy this fun and educational experience!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.