How many times have you read the same classic storybook to your son or daughter? It’s hard to find quality stories to read to our children these days. While it’s true that once kids have a favorite they don’t mind listening to it over and over again, at some point they’re going to get over it. And if you’re sick of it, they probably are too.
My sister and I used to beg my mom to tell us stories before bed. It became a tradition, and every night, my sister would jump into my bed, and we would cuddle under the warm covers and listen to our mom’s voice, continuing her story from the night before, and the night before that. The best part about these stories was that she either made them up or took them from her past. They tickled our imaginations and made us realize that our mother had a life long before we were born. It helped us get to know what her life was like before we came along, and even before our father came into the picture. It made me feel special, knowing that my mom took the time to share stories about her past with me. She let me into her life and it made me feel closer to her than ever–it made me feel like I mattered. When is the last time you shared a story from your past to your kids? What about making one up? Here are three tips about how to tell your own story during story time, and stretch both your and your kids’ imaginations.
Share stories from your childhood: Kids will love to hear about what your life was like when you were a kid like them. Share special memories you had with your own parents and siblings.
Make a story up: Stories can stem from our life experiences. People you meet or observe along the way of life can become characters in your stories. The more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!
Write your story down and have your kids draw illustrations: Once you have told your story, whether it be from your own life or you’ve made one up, write it down, and have your kids draw the pictures. This is a great way to spend time together as a family and stretch your and your kids’ minds. Be creative, and your kids will follow your example!
Tonight, put the storybook away, and let your kids get to know you and use their imaginations in a whole new way. And get ready to use your imagination too!