The art of storytelling is quite ancient and powerful. They are considered to be extremely beneficial for enhancing listening skills and sharpening kids’ imaginations. A research conducted in the UK showed that the brains of people who listened to character-driven stories released a chemical called oxytocin which is connected to feelings of love and empathy. Children tend to have an innate love and admiration for stories. We all have fond memories of our grandparents or parents narrating stories to us which were instrumental in teaching us about our culture. If you seem unable to find the time for storytelling, you can even choose to opt for online classes that will expose children to fantastical world of stories.
Read on to learn more about the importance of storytelling to kids.
Engaging with purposeful talking
Stories bring about a sense of wonder and engage listening skills. Storytelling for Kids is critical in the overall development, even if it is just narrating an incident that occurred in your daily routine. Even these small instances can play a fundamental role in inspiring children and developing their worldview. More importantly, it prompts them to actively listen and pay attention while generating curiosity and encouraging children to ask questions.
Attuning them to the world around us
Children tend to live in a little bubble of their own worlds. Narrating a story from your own culture or even from another culture will open up their worldview, causing them to empathise with people. This will eventually inculcate a visualization capacity and they can explore a diverse range of cultures, people and experiences. Children will be able to understand the minute differences that separate people but also bring together communities. It will offer an insight into the many universal life experiences.
Kids have a limited range of words and storytelling can greatly improve their vocabulary. When done in a manner that is expressive, with the use of voice modulation, expressions, changes in pitch, this will help children pay more attention and remember the vivid details and words used while narrating a story to them. There may be words or concepts or even characters that children are not familiar with and storytelling in an informal manner will introduce them to these things. It will broaden their vocabulary and they will easily pick up new words as they hear them. They will be able to understand the actions and reactions of characters, the motivations behind them and why certain decisions may have been made. Furthermore, storytelling will enhance their communication skills and understanding too.
Apart from just fostering kids’ imaginations, stories have a beautiful way of instilling virtues that they can carry with them forever. Stories , when told well and often, are memorable, especially those that have morals. Children can learn to emulate certain values from characters and understand meaningful messages that stories impart. Valuable and essential lessons in honesty, kindness, truthfulness and compassion are imparted through the act of storytelling.
A sensory experience
When stories are told using sensory details, they engage more parts of the brain than mere facts do. Imperceptible details help children to see and experience a narrative from the character’s point of view and this can engage their sensory, visual, auditory, motor and olfactory sections of the cortex in the brain. It's almost akin to relieving an experience that you were never a part of to begin with, which makes the act so magical. It stimulates parts of the brain that regular conversations cannot as stories are filled to the brim with information.
Lastly, the way that the story is told is also key to how much attention children pay. You can always tell the perfect story by acting it out. It was found that parents who tell stories have more of an emotional bond with their children. This pushes children to be creative and think outside the box. We hope that this brought to light the multifaceted nature of storytelling and its many benefits.
So put on your most entertaining voice and help kids express themselves to the fullest with storytelling!