The benefits of storytelling
Children instinctively love books and stories as they are introduced to wonderful ideas, places, and creatures they haven't before encountered.
Through stories children are able to learn more about life, the world, and themselves. Aside from creating a bonding opportunity, there are so many benefits to reading with your child.
Telling stories allows children to experience different worlds, countries, and traditions. It can help develop an appreciation of the rest of the world and different cultures.
Storytelling has been proven to help develop a sense of empathy as children are encouraged to put themselves in the position of the story's protagonist; to consider their actions and reactions and why they may have made them.
Curiosity, imagination and communication
Reading to a child can increase their willingness to express themselves and communicate their thoughts and feelings. Ask them to talk to you about the plot and characters in the story; to suggest how each of the characters might move the story forward and to tell you why they think the character has behaved in a particular way.
When storytelling, you should actively encourage children to ask questions and to talk about how they feel.
Reading is the perfect way to broaden their vocabulary, as a child will pick up new words as they hear them. If they don't understand a word, they will more than likely ask for an explanation, so always encourage this kind of questioning.
Storytelling also encourages children to be creative and use their imagination to picture the setting, the characters, and the story as it unfolds. Rather than being given the imagery to accompany the words, which is the case when watching a film, the child is able to build the world within which the story is set for themselves.
Focus and social skills
Through storytelling children are encouraged to listen to others, whether it be the storyteller or others listening to the story. They learn to be more patient and to let others speak; they begin to understand that others may not interpret things in the same way they do.
Their focus and listening skills are developed as they concentrate on what the storyteller is saying as, if they do not listen, the will miss out on part of the plot.
Storytelling provides children with a window to new worlds. It gives them the opportunity to learn new ideas and information; without realising it, they are learning valuable life lessons through hearing an engaging, exciting story.
At Kumon, developing a love of reading is the cornerstone of our English programme. We have an accompanying Recommended Reading List, packed full of wonderful books for children of all ages. Why not have a look and pick something new to read for the weekend?