Storytelling: A Gift of Love and Bonding

Storytelling: A Gift of Love and Bonding

Jo Ann Gramlich, MS, CCC-SLP

When people mention the word storytelling, what often comes to mind is the depiction of children gathered and sitting around a person telling stories, using hand gestures to dramatically describe the characters and what they’re doing. Author Jo Ann Gramlich’s Talk, Play, and Read with Me Mommy book is an interactive, fun, and engaging book meant to help enhance and improve a child’s language skills during the early years. The book is excellent literature for stimulating a child’s imagination which is also a key component for storytelling. Although storytelling takes a lot of different forms and applies to people of all ages, it remains one of the most effective ways to stimulate children’s language growth along with their mental, emotional, and social development.  

Storytelling & the Child

Storytelling all begins with a book, a story, and a child’s imagination. Children have this natural curiosity about anything and everything surrounding them. From the time they are born into this world, their curiosity begins. This is evident through their squinting behind those tiny eyelids, processing everything they see, and trying to make sense of all the shapes, sizes, and colors their eyes can pick up. Just as the environment around the newborn is a whole new world to them, so are the stories being told in storytelling that presents a whole new fantasy for the young listeners.  

Benefits of Storytelling for Children

Improves Listening Skills

One of the challenges for teachers, parents, caregivers and even babysitters is trying to keep the child’s attention and making sure that they focus for a more extended period. Especially in this day and age when there are a lot of distractions coming out of the woodwork in the form of mobile devices and social media. The challenge of holding a kid’s attention for an extended period has since doubled. A child’s mind tends to wander off, not focusing on the task or subject at hand. That’s where creative storytelling comes to the rescue. How imaginative, playful, and engaging storytelling is, will determine how compelling a storyteller can be when capturing and focusing the attention of their young listener. This, in turn, increases a child’s listening skills, memory abilities, and a child’s capability to pay close attention to the details of the story being told. 

Stimulates Imagination and Critical Thinking

Storytelling also helps to stimulate a child’s imagination and thinking skills. The way the plot is being told makes the child recreate the scenarios in their head, opening up an opportunity for them to come up with inferences and conclusions to the story different from what was told. Storytelling also encourages a child to engage in role play by acting out characters and actions along with applying some critical thinking skills by forming their opinions based on the story’s characters and related events.  

Improving Communication Skills

Improving communication skills is also one benefit of storytelling for a child. The engaging way the story is being told encourages the child to interact and express their thoughts and feelings. The interaction also helps them develop and use related story vocabulary. Since they are in their formative years, storytelling is the best outlet for them to apply and relate to all the new words that they have learned.

Develop Cultural Awareness

What best way to know and understand a culture than through storytelling. Storytelling opens up the child to an awareness that other cultures, people, and places exist. Through the stories, they learn about other animals that live in different parts of the world and become appreciative of the various natural wonders found in different places. More importantly, they develop a knowledge and an awareness that there are other people of different backgrounds with different languages that exist out there in the world. Storytelling is the best way to start a child on culture and diversity awareness and appreciation journey. 

Builds Up Bonding Experience

Perhaps the best part of the storytelling process is the shared bonding moments between parents, caregivers, and their child. Aside from the mental and social attributes developed through the storytelling process, a child’s emotional growth is also stimulated. There is that warmth and contented feeling when a parent does the storytelling. The child feels more comfortable opening up and expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with someone they know and with whom they feel secure.  

At the end of the day, storytelling is more than just an educational experience. It is an opportunity to create memories and share special bonding moment together especially between a parent and their child. Storytelling also becomes an occasion to express the love that they have for each other.  

Check out her free course Let’s Talk, Play, And Read at https://iausm.mn.co/share/ddYlcT1wOSDRf0P8?utm_source=manual or her Books/Website at :https://talkplayandread.com/ and https://www.amazon.com/s?k=jo+ann+gramlich

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