6 Keys to Telling a Good Story to Children
Telling stories and conveying emotions and feelings is no easy task. In this article, we'll tell you the 6 keys to telling a good story.
Storytelling professionals are true magicians of illusion and make it possible for stories to reach children in a fantastic way. However, obviously not all of us have a professional storyteller on hand. So, we have no choice but to take on that role ourselves. So, what are the keys to telling a good story?
Children’s stories are full of imagination and fantasy. However, a story can change a lot depending on how well you tell it. At first glance, storytelling might seem simple, but what’s complicated is capturing and maintaining children’s attention.
To do this task as well as possible so that both children and adults can enjoy the story, here are a few tips to put into practice. Are you ready?
6 keys to telling a good story
1. Don’t force children to listen to the story
Stories develop children’s imagination as well as their concentration by holding their attention for an extended period of time. What’s more, children’s stories are fun!
Despite these advantages, we should never force our little ones to listen to a story if they don’t want to. Just as we adults sometimes don’t feel like doing certain activities, the same is true for our children.
2. Choosing the right time and place
Although almost any time is good for a storyteller, you have to take into account how the children are doing. If you notice they’re tired or distracted, it’s better to leave the story for another time when they can pay attention with all five senses.
As a general rule, one of the best times to tell a story is at bedtime. Stories tend to relax children quite a bit, so it’s a good routine to incorporate into your lives.
As for the location, it’s good to choose a quiet place, where children are as free of distractions a possible. That way, they’ll be able to focus their attention on the story.
3. Voice and intonation, another key to telling a good story
Your voice is the main tool you’ll need to tell a good story. But using it isn’t enough. As the story progresses, you’ll need to make changes in your voice according to the characters that appear or the moods they’re in.
In addition to the different voices, you also need to narrate slowly and to pronounce the words clearly. It’s better to use short and simple words, thus making the narration more active and dynamic. In this way, children will be able to perfectly understand all the concepts and follow the storyline without any major problem as their imaginations soar.
More tips to telling a good story
4. Dramatic expression
Although voice and intonation are the main keys, there are other components that you should consider when telling a good story. For example, never underestimate the importance of dramatic expression. Through gestures and expressions, both of the face and body, you’ll capture the attention of your audience in a much stronger way.
5. Involve children in the story
In order to tell if little ones are really paying attention to the story, a good option is to involve them. Doing so will also make the story much more enjoyable. You can do so in several different ways, such as the following:
- Asking questions related to the story to help them follow along.
- Inviting children to sing or speak along in parts of the story that are repeated.
- Asking children to help with sound effects.
6. Immerse yourself in the story
What’s most important, of course, is that children enjoy listening to the story as they develop certain important skills. To achieve these goals, the storyteller must first take ownership of the story.
By that, we mean making it your own, personalizing it, believing that you’re really in the mountains, in a castle, or fighting against evildoers. That way, you’ll be able to make the story that much more real for your little listeners.