Once upon a time….is a line that has brought a smile to many little faces for generations. Undoubtedly, a story continues to be one of the best ways to connect, teach, learn, and most importantly, realize childlike happiness. The benefits of storytelling are multiple, not only for children but also for adults. However, the importance of storytelling in early years is a fundamental cornerstone for ensuring intelligence, emotional and social development in a child. So why is storytelling important and what can it achieve? Let’s find out.
History of Storytelling
Storytelling is a cultural and social activity. And stories have historically been told in various forms. From oral expressions to carvings, cave paintings, murals, dance, and musicals, art forms, all have been appropriate vehicles for storytelling. But in spite of its massive influence and role in societies, stories continue to be a medium that is often associated with children. This is primarily because there are many benefits of storytelling, especially for preschoolers and toddlers.
Become A Storyteller
As parents, we strive for the holistic development of our children. Storytelling is a definite tool to help us do so. In its many forms, be it rhymes, plays, short stories, picture stories, fables, puppetry, or audiobooks, storytelling captivates the hearts and minds of children. And though reading a story has a charm of its own, reading to children is the perfect way to introduce them to a whole new world.
Research has proved the importance of storytelling to child development. And so we have a short list of benefits that emphasizes why you need to set aside some time each day to don the hat of a storyteller.
Benefits of Storytelling
1. Enhances Language Skills and Communication
Listening to a story is one of the best ways to improve language skills. The child’s vocabulary improves as he/she hears words that may not be used in regular conversations. Also, the child learns how to pronounce words and string them together in different sentences correctly. Their grammar, as well as their ability to express themselves also drastically improves when they are told stories from a storybook.
(For communicating guidelines with children even before they start speaking, read our related article)
2. Strengthens Imagination and Creativity
A story has the power to tingle a child's imagination like no other medium. Children are introduced to new places, people, cultures, concepts, and ideas when they hear stories. From magic to mythology to science to space, stories can act as the perfect launchpad to unleash their imagination and creative skills.
3. Teaches Moral Values
How often do parents complain that children ‘Just Don’t Listen’! But when you try communicating with them in the form of a story, you have a higher chance of grabbing their attention. Values or discipline when taught through lecturing or scolding, may seem boring or unrelatable for a child to understand. But when the same is taught to them through stories, moral values, and behavioral concepts can be easily understood. For instance, isn’t it fun to listen to the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf and learn that lying is bad? Rather than being told in plain words to not lie!
4. Improves Listening and Cognitive Skills
How often do we see children rapt in attention while listening to a story? Their eyes are fixated on the storyteller and their expressions sync with the characters and the plot of the story. It, therefore, implies that stories do help in improving cognitive skills where the child learns to pay attention and improve his/her capacity to listen. Stories help the child to collect the information and process it while enjoying the experience.
5. Encourages Habit of Reading
In our digitally powered world, it is hard enough to educate children on the advantages of reading. But when you read a story to them, they understand the impact and importance of reading themselves. Also, since reading books is the best way to enjoy a story, children tend to start exploring various story books and material on their own when they grow up.
6. Builds Intelligence
Intelligence has multiple classifications. But storytelling can cover them all together. Listening to stories, helps children build their mental intelligence. But it also enhances their emotional, social, and cultural intelligence. Stories expose children to plots, characters, and philosophies that make them empathetic, as well as socially and culturally aware of the world.
7. Creates Everlasting Bonds
Lastly, telling stories to your kids helps build a strong bond between you and the child. The time is well spent, whereas parents, you connect and communicate with your kids. In fact, frequent storytelling or story-reading sessions can create beautiful memories, remembered for a lifetime.
And thus, we at ZM Speech Care Clinic, strongly recommend storytelling activities for children. We promote storytelling in our various sessions to help children enhance their language and speech skills. Storytelling is nothing but sharing happiness.