creating a story

“Tell me a story” is a child's common bedtime plea, but turning the tables to get your child to tell you a story can be just as meaningful to her language and literacy development.

Creating stories helps children learn to put ideas together in order. Understanding that stories are told in sequence helps kids learn to start with what happens first, then to tell what happened next and so on.

Helping them learn to organize the language areas in their brain in this way prepares them for how they will be expected to use language in school.

The best part about storytelling is that you and your kids can create stories anytime, anywhere. Your inspiration can come from doing laundry, seeing posters and signs at the supermarket or reading a menu at a restaurant. As your child develops stories, she can use different formats, like songs and rhymes, to expand her creativity and build other skills at the same time.

As a simple way to start, use a storybook format as your jumping off point. For example, as you make up a story with her, begin with, “One day a giraffe woke up and all of his spots were one.” Next, have your child add a sentence to the story. Go back and forth taking turns, until the story comes to an end. Later, have your child practice retelling the story to another parent or family member to reinforce sequence and build confidence.

Remember, reading to your child has tremendous benefits to her early brain and language development, but it’s not the only way to build essential literacy skills. Choose activities that engage your child and promote interest and curiosity. Every day is filled with opportunities to tell stories, sing songs, look at pictures and bond with your child.

You can find more ideas on reading and storytelling with babies and children HERE.