National Storytelling Week is held during the first week of February every year, to increase public awareness on the art, practice and value of oral storytelling. I read a fantastic blog post about how to keep storytelling alive and incorporate this into family time over on Christine’s Thinly Spread blog and was inspired.
Why I tell stories
I have always loved to tell stories. I used to work with a boy with very low self esteem who would have me tell him stories where he was a handsome prince and a complete hero. When my son was small and a little nervous of the big kids on the park I would tell him stories of children of all ages and sizes playing on the park together and having lots of fun. Stories are wonderful. I tell true and funny stories about their relatives to the kids to bring to life a Granddad they have never met and a Great Granddad I would have loved them to know. Daddy tells the children about buying a treasure map from an old man and living in the jungle and digging for treasure when he was young (all true but sadly unfound!) I tell them stories about the suffragettes and the Sheriff of Nottingham and try and instill in them some good values! I tell them stories where they and their friends feature and this makes them laugh. It whiles away car time, delights at bath time or bedtime.
Passing it on
My Granddad used to tell me stories of going to school with santa and being a naughty boy at school and pinching coal off the coal cart. He did make me laugh. My son loves to make up, tell and write stories and at age 6 he has his own little blog with some brilliant tales of the naughty, slimy Spiderman on! In the age of Wii, DS, playstation etc. I am glad he can still tap into his own creativity.
Pinching an idea from the Thinly Spread blog last night we turned off all of everything electric, lit some candles and told some stories in rounds. I started and said 2 lines, then my son, my little girl aged 3 would add a word and then daddy would chip in. Oh the stories we told! We had a purple dragon who ate a princess castle, a monster who fell down a hole and got stuck because he had eaten all the water and had to wait till he was thin as a mouse (loosely derived I think from Winnie the Pooh but that’s okay!)
We had a fabulous family hour.
Let’s keep the art of story telling alive. It is free, bonding, and creative and builds lovely memories.