Storytelling is one of the things we do before bed. We either read from a book, get inspiration from a book and vary it a bit (or big time) or make up our own stories.
My husband has just finished reading a bedtime story to our eldest son when I got the inspiration to write these tips. I noticed that he has applied many of these tips which made his story interesting to our son. I hope that by sharing these tips with you in this post, you would be inspired to do better as a storyteller to your little ones.
1. Use different voices for different characters. I know that this isn't easy but I dare you to try. Trust me, it will get easier over time as you practice. Before you know it, it will be second nature to you.
2. Use props and costumes. Engage the senses. Don't just engage their sense of hearing. Show them something. Show them many things related to the story to help you bring it across and so that they have something to associate the story with.
3. Use big or oversized books. This will help you show them big pictures, enough for most if not all the kids to see.
4. Act out actions or movements in the story. Make the words come alive before their eyes by acting them out. Don't just enunciate the words. Act them out if possible for emphasis. And use exaggerated movements every now and then to get their attention.
5. Vary your pace in narrating the story as well as the volume of your voice. This strategy will draw them to you and your story.
6. Let your facial expression tell the story as well. Let the emotions in the story be conveyed not just in your voice but in your facial expressions as well.
7. Use music or songs. They not only add drama or make the story more interesting. They also make the story fun to listen to. Songs also help the audience remember the story better especially if the songs used in telling the story were good and carefully chosen.
8. Get lost in your story. Did that shock you? What I mean is enjoy your own story as you tell it. It would be evident to your audience if you are enjoying it or not. So make sure that you like what you are doing and that you are not doing it as a chore. You will be amazed at how sensitive and intelligent kids are that they can sense if you are genuinely present in the activity or not.