basic STORYTELLING for toddlers

When Little M was little, I had a storytelling trick that she loved. I loved it too and realized just how much I miss it when I got the chance to try it out with Cousin J.

Since toddlers are in the business of moving, sitting down to hear a story can be a challenge.  That is why I mixed things up a bit and let Cousin J take the lead.  While she played I found a seat near by and created a story around her actions.

The story started off describing the character.  “… and she loved purple so much that the only socks she would wear were purple.”  I was trying to plant the seed that she was the main character.

“Cooking brought her so much joy, she grabbed some pans and decided this might be the perfect thing to make her smile.”

“Music had been banned from the kingdom but she dreamed of the day she would put a tape in and hear her favorite songs.  She tried every button… but nothing worked.”

And there it is… the moment Cousin J realized what I was doing.

“Not only did the girl in the purple socks love cooking and music, she also loved to build.  So she set out to build a home where she could cook and dance.”

Now it was Cousin J’s turn.  She grabbed a few people and started talking.  That was my cue to sit back and listen.

Tips:  1. Kids will respond differently to this depending on how they are feeling.  If they seem annoyed, stop and try again later.  2.  The entire process took us 5 minutes… keep it short and simple.  3.  Use this activity as a way to increase your kids’ vocabulary.  Throw in a few words they may not be familiar with.

This post is a part of the Storytelling lesson plan.

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  1. This is great – I’ve been doing something similar but using J’s characters to create a story for him and then letting him take over – today’s “story” was about a mummy and daddy tiger that looked after a baby lion (the only baby cat we have) and the grandad that came to help them

  2. My three y.o. will ask where daddy is when he is at work. It has become a game that when I answer “at work” she will giggle and say no he isn’t and then we will come up with adventurous things daddy is doing. Some days daddy is a bull fighter in Spain or is deep sea diving. Storytelling is great to do with kids, thanks for the post.

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