Share in the Fun With Your Child on World Storytelling Day
World Storytelling Day takes place on March 20th and celebrates the ancient art of oral storytelling. The goal is to get people all over the world telling and listening to stories at the same time.
The founders of this event wanted to create links between people from different parts of the globe through humanity’s first form of communication. Stories have been used to pass on knowledge and beliefs for thousands of years, forging bonds and creating a shared history.
Storytelling is a wonderful activity for children because it helps them understand the parts of a story more deeply. It also improves their public speaking confidence.
Celebrate World Storytelling Day as a family this year with these great ideas.
Use a Story-Stick
This is a good one to warm up with. Get your family to gather in a circle. To really get in the spirit, you can sit around a campfire or backyard fire pit. Ask your child to decorate a story stick beforehand to build enthusiasm.
The person holding the story stick has the floor and tells a story. To make it easier for kids, it’s a good idea to choose a theme, conflict or setting. Ask questions about what the characters can see, hear and feel to add depth and inspire kids if they’re reluctant or get stuck.
Build-a-story can also be done with the story stick. Instead of one person holding the stick and telling a story, it’s passed on as everyone contributes to the narrative.
The goal is to work together to create a fabulous story with plenty of twists and turns. To make it even more fun and interactive, send kids on a scavenger hunt to gather some items before storytelling begins— the more unusual, the better. Each item gathered must then be incorporated into the story you create.
Create a Story with Prompts
Using storytelling prompts is a great way to encourage kids’ creativity and reduce the pressure of coming up with ideas from scratch. You and your child can create your own story prompts by writing different themes, characters, settings, actions and objects onto index cards or slips of paper (one item per card). Kids pick five random cards and use them to tell their story.
Create story requirements to increase the challenge level for older kids. For example, the main character has to stay alive and change in some important way by the end of the story. This requirement teaches kids about character development and story structure.
You can also purchase story cards or story dice if you don’t want to create your own. Some are even available in digital form.
Make a Storytelling Jar
This fun activity incorporates writing and oral storytelling. Everyone in the group writes down a few story starters on a piece of paper and places them in a jar. Encourage your child to let their imagination go wild.
Each person then picks out a story starter and continues to build the story. Children love this one because they get to see other people using their ideas to create their own narrative. It’s a great exercise in the power and joy of collaboration.
Retell a Story
Retelling a story in their own words is a wonderful activity, especially for smaller children. Asking them to tell their favourite story also relieves the pressure of having to come up with their own narrative on the spot.
You can get creative with this by getting kids to change the course of the story to create their own ending. You could also use a familiar narrative as a starter, and then play build-a-story using the story stick.
When it comes to storytelling, the possibilities are endless!