Kas Winters

Fall is Perfect for Family Storytelling

Fall is Perfect for Family Storytelling
by Kas Winters, Mother of Family Ideas™


Kas Winters

Kas Winters

With so much communication happening electronically, it can be fun to “go back in time” just a few years to telling stories and reading printed books. Storytelling is an ancient art that builds family relationships. There’s something quite special about sharing stories with one another and about that time spent together.

With young children, we can read storybooks, or let them read to us. It takes time to tell and listen to a story. This is quality time when we are focused directly on one another. It’s important for children and is one of the ways in which they learn to appreciate reading. Activities such as this make them curious and eager to learn more. Tales entice the imagination. Memories are made, not only of the stories and (hopefully) the lessons learned, but also of the one-on-one time together.

A new dimension can be added by using enhanced storytelling. It might be as simple as repeating stories from memory in a darkened room before bedtime. That can make it a delightful time for special attention and sweet dreams. (Of course, scary stories before bed probably aren’t the very best idea.) You can use hand shadows or shadow puppets in your stories. That helps children know what is making the shadows and then shadows are less frightening. All you need for hand shadows is dark room with a bright light behind your hands and a blank space on the wall in front of you. See how many shapes you can make with your hands or cut shapes from construction paper and use them as part of the adventure.

Add sound effects to your narrative. Kids can be delegated to make noises and their participation adds to the fun. Noises can be as simple as claps, howls, chatter, giggles or more adventurous barks and animal sounds. Bang on something, whistle, use cups on a table to make the sound of horses in full gallop, crinkle aluminum foil, shake a rattle. Experiment. Fill containers with items and shake them for various sounds.

Use dramatic voices when you tell stories or let different people (children included) take the parts of various characters in the story. Treat a fairy tale like a play!

Tell a pass-around story. One person begins by giving a setting for a story and continues for a minute or two to describe a setting, a character, and a situation. For example: “It was a bright and glorious day in November, in the small town of Peanutville when Tammy heard a knock at the door.” When the first person is done, the next person takes over and makes up additional parts for the story. It can be done with two people or more, with each taking turns. Decide in advance who will make up the ending for the story. Be prepared to laugh.

Use puppets to tell a story. It can be a simple hand puppet, one made from a paper bag or paper plate, a sock puppet, or a picture cut from a magazine and glued to the top of a craft stick. You can have several characters or just one.

If you have a fireplace or fire pit, it makes storytelling much more exciting—an adventure children will not soon forget. Make memories in the cool of autumn. Its a delightful time for families. ENJOY!

Take a look at some sample pages from this author’s new book, Nativity Activities. It’s 160 pages filled with ideas for family time spent together and includes crafts, puppets, recipes, games, gift ideas, and many other things to help make your Christmas a happy and memorable one. Here’s the link:  http://www.winmarkcom.com/NativityActivities.htm

For thanksgiving ideas:  http://www.winmarkcom.com/thanksgivingactivities.htm or http://www.winmarkcom.com/thanksgivingfall.htm

Check out my NEW book Get that Book out of your Head and into Print



Kas Winters, “Mother of Family Ideas”

Winmark Communications & Everything Family