Well, there are many theories about reading stories, since I’m from Waldorf background and that I have worked with this Philosophy in the kindergarten, I believe storytelling can be studied and understood in depth.
Reading a book to a young child is a very different experience from telling a story. Sensing a child’s need to hear a story coming directly from them, it can be a great experience to break free of written words and speak a tale from memory.
Today I would like to suggest one of the topics which can be used for infants and toddlers (0-3 years)
Stories from Nature
You may weave simple story about the Flower in your garden, the Butterfly which came to visit the Flowers, the Crow sitting on the Tree opposite to your house, the Sun, Moon and Rain… They do not require to understand the scientific explanations in these nature stories. Benefits of saying nature stories is that your child sees the same flowers, trees, birds, cats and dogs everyday in her immediate environment.. so she can relate to these stories better than stories about a snowman, penguin, crocodile, flamingo which your child might not see in his environment. It also brings a sense of security to the child when the story is repeated often.
These stories can be modified for 3+ children by adding more details to the story with rich vocabulary(verbs and adjectives).
Telling stories to children helps in language development, imagination, creativity and much more. Have you ever wondered how children learn language? Do they start with ABC, no! It is through everyday conversations and listening to stories. Grammar too is learnt by using the language in your everyday conversations, not through books or flash cards!
Stories from your personal life
Here children love to relate to your childhood, Where did you live? Who did you play with? Who and what did you love? As you share your real life incidents with them, they especially study your feelings. They need to hear their whole family group spoken of with loving and positive interest. Children can learn from us to respect and empathise with other family members.
Choose one memory and prepare to tell this as a little story. Children can make impressions of the stories you say which may deeply influence their adult life.
Try to have one meal a day together as a family, share these little stories during meal -time or when you spend time together as a family. This will indeed bring about family bonding, a sense of warmth and love among children.
The stories told are an important legacy you will leave your child in terms of a world-view. Storytelling also helps children satisfy their curiosity or bring out latent feelings. The precious thread of storytelling strengthen the parent-child bond.