When it comes to storytelling with preschoolers, it is an important skill set for them to develop and a great way to connect. 

 

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Storytelling is one of the most important skills that young children can master. True, it does come with its fair share of long-winded personal stories, but the benefits of storytelling can be exponential. 

Keep reading to learn all about storytelling with preschoolers and why this skill is important for their development…

What is Storytelling with Preschoolers 

Storytelling is truly an art form that has been around since the beginning of time. From the cavemen gathering around fires to nursery rhymes that you now sing to your own kids. 

Storytelling is embedded into our DNA and begins around the time your child starts preschool.

Storytelling with preschooler can look like many things. This lists a few ways to help your young child develop their skills.

Storytelling can look like many things:

  • Reading picture books together
  • Making up dream worlds with imaginary friends
  • Sharing personal experiences like explaining a detailed situation that happened at the playground
  • Listening to others create their own fairy tales with a silly main character

When it comes to stories, there are plenty of ways for this age group to begin creating their own stories. This is a good thing, as there are several developmental benefits to a 3-5 year old beginning to create their own stories. 

… and What it Isn’t.

It is important to mention the distinction in what storytelling is not- a lie. 

Yes, it is valuable to make up a story about Leo the Lion going to the zoo to visit his friend. What is not valuable is creating a story that blames Leo the Lion for coloring on the walls. 

The best way to help them understand the difference is to simply ask your preschooler “is this a story or a lie?”

Keep reading to learn the many benefits to storytelling with preschoolers…

Benefits for Preschoolers to practice Storytelling

Being a good storyteller is one of the most concrete ways to help develop essential skills that will last a lifetime. A few skills that storytelling helps preschoolers with are: 

  • Promote Imagination
  • Develop Language skills with new words
  • Emotion Expression
  • Literacy Skills
  • Evolve communication skills

Whether they are sitting with you listening to a story through reading or making up their own story on the way to the grocery store, just know that every storytelling session is helping their minds develop. 

Another benefit to storytelling with young kids is also a way to help them make sense of the world around them. While they may not have the skills to express exactly what is happening at the park, oftentimes a story of a polar bear at the park will help you see life from their view as new ideas can have meaningful messages.. 

How can adults encourage Storytelling with young kids?

There are several ways for adults to encourage storytelling with preschoolers with fun storytelling activities

The magic phrase ‘and then what happened’ 

This phrase is helpful for young children practicing their own storytelling skills by pushing their brains to think beyond their original story and develop the art of storytelling. 

Telling their own Stories

Preschoolers love stories! So why not tell your own? This will model storytelling and help build a strong bond between you both.

Encourage Independent Play

One of the best parts of storytelling is that kids can do it independently! Sit them at the kitchen table with a few toys and let them create an entire world while you cook dinner.

Read a Book

Of course! Story time is essential. No matter what your child loves, there is definitely a book about that topic. Visit your local library or order a few from the Amazon book collection. Along with the many benefits that books have for developing brains, they will help learn more stories that will stay with them a lifetime. 

Provide a list of story prompts

On a piece of paper, have everyone white down an idea for a new story. Then pass it around

Use a story bag or story stones

Take your child’s favorite characters and introduce new story ideas.

Natural storytellers will be able to take their favorite story and make it into something completely new.

Try dramatic retellings of kids stories with characters using a different voice.

Fun Storytelling Activity ideas

To encourage the act of storytelling, try a fun project with any preschoolers in your life, here are a few simple activities to help activate this area of their brains. 

1) Picture Swap

This one is easy and can be done with supplies already laying around your house! 

Begin by setting a timer for a minute or two then have everyone draw a picture on the paper. Once the timer goes off, everyone has to switch the papers and continue the original drawing. 

This activity will help develop minds, express creativity, and encourage the creation of the ever changing story. 

This activity is even better if you can involve older siblings. That way, the younger kids can see how grand their own imaginations can become.

Note: if they aren’t excited about coloring, try another art medium, like play dough!  

2) Toy Box

Set up a bin of a few small toys in a room with nothing else to play with. Next, have the child assign each toy a role to play. Who will be the villain? Who will be the hero? 

Next, it’s important for you to step away. Give them the opportunity to play independently and see what worlds they can create. 

If they enjoy this activity, try switching out the toys every once in a while to encourage new worlds to be created. 

3) Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling

This board game is for ages 4 and up and it is the perfect addition to your game shelf. Not only can you and your preschooler play this game 5 different ways, but it is designed with an infinite amount of storytelling ways. 

Designed with little ones in mind, this board game requires zero reading (the cards are pictures) so any young child will feel confident enough to win at this game. 

4) Create Writing Prompts

Using simple objects on pieces of paper, have your kids think up creative writing prompts to develop a short story. This activity is great for developing their oral storytelling skill and doesn’t take up too much time.

In Summary

There are plenty of ways for storytelling to be integrated into a preschoolers day- and for good reason. Not only is this skill important for building imagination, but the brain development that occurs from storytelling is extremely valuable. 

From a simple conversation to fun, interactive games, there are plenty of ways to encourage more storytelling with your little ones. 

 

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