I love sharing stories with my little ones, and listening to the hilarious tales that they come up with. Stories are not just for bedtime, you know. They are a perfect way to handle rainy afternoons, waiting in line, discipline issues and more. I am tremendously thankful for the rich heritage I have in storytellers. I want to share with you some of the things that they have taught me. You can be a storyteller extraordinaire!
2. Create the characters. They can range from animals, to mythical creatures, to family members or your favorite TV characters and any combination you can imagine. Our kidlets love stories featuring Spiderman, Spongebob, Ipis and Upis (a fish and a bird that Carlos made up) all saving the day together. I like creating characters based on my kids using their middle names. It is close enough that the kids relate to them and feel specially included, but not so exact that it limits the storyline. Ariana noted several months ago that there really needed to be some sort of conflict in the story to make it interesting. If you aren't into bad guys, make sure that there is a challenge of some type.
* Family history. It is always more fun when you know the people in real life. Share stories about their grandparents. Tell about funny events from your childhood. If your own childhood doesn't have too many happy memories, make up stories about what you wish it was like. Share stories about when you met their dad. Wedding stories. Birth stories. Tell all about when they were babies. Bonus: you can illustrate with pics!
|Image credit: wertheim on Flickr|
* Borrow from the classics. Create your own version of Swiss Family Robinson, The Chornicles of Narnia, Dr. Doolittle, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, A Little Princess, Robin Hood, Little House on the Prairie, or any other story you loved as a child.
* Super adventures. Give your characters super powers--flying, invisibility, teleportation, telepathy, x-ray vision, super strength, and all the Marvel/ DC comic stand-bys. Like Alice, let them shrink or grow into giants.
|Image credit: mrtruffle on Flickr|
4. Invite collaboration. If you ever get stuck, ask them what they think is going to happen next, and go with it. Or take turns telling the story. Keep in mind that the whole point is to have fun, not to write a serious novel. Don't worry about plot derailments or anything that might mess up your story--just embrace the fun and nonsense. (Yeah, I know that this shouldn't even need to be said, but I also know how perfectionist parents can get really into something and lose sight of what is important and try to control all the details).
There is a reason why civilizations throughout the world honor those who share stories. Whether they are based in fact or wild imagination, they are ways to knits hearts together in shared adventures and transmit Truth. Find some time today to tell an extraordinary story with your children!