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Even very young children LOVE to spin a yarn. Most of the time, all they need is an interested audience, but if you need help getting the creativity flowing, here are some suggestions:

 

Make a story cube. Glue different pictures onto a cube and roll 2 or more and make up a story about the pictures that come up on top.

Make a story bag. Using a large paper bag (or box), add pictures from magazines, calendars and the newspaper glued onto stiff paper to help them last. Add common objects as well, such as a comb, a block, small car, and other toys to use as props and ideas. Allow the child to pick 3-4 items and make up a story about them.

Retell a traditional story, poem or fairy tale.

Explain 'why'-such as 'Why do people wave?" "Why do fish have no arms?"

Tell other people's stories. Why was that man driving so fast? Where is he going, or what is he leaving behind? Is he late? Is he driving fast to get away from a bear on a bicycle? Watching people on the street is a great way to develop empathy in young children. Having them make up reasons a person might be happy or sad or angry will help them realize that everyone has their own story and give them storytelling practice as well.

Expand on a nursery rhyme. Jack jumped over the candlestick and then what? Or why did Jack jump it in the first place?

 

Ways to help young storytellers:

Ask questions to help develop detail and descriptions.
Introduce synonyms-become a walking thesaurus to help them enlarge their vocabulary.
Talk about beginning, middle and end and how all stories need all of these.
Use facial expressions and body language to convey emotions in the story, encourage your child to do the same.
Enjoy the story. Laugh, clap, boo, cheer and be an active, rapt listener.

After the story is told:
Help your child write it down.
Let them draw pictures to illustrate the story.
or
Act out the story.
Photograph the child acting out 'major scenes' to add to the written story.

Web sites for storytelling:
On-line Stories to Read to Children
On-line Stories Written by Children
Songs and Poetry for Kids
Folklore, Myth and Legend