Even if storytelling does come fairly natural to you, at the end of the day when you are exhausted it can be a challenge to come up with something engaging and creative on the spot. This is probably why most parents just reach for a book. Story time gives you a valuable opportunity to bond, so once in a while, use these tips to make it a bit more personal.
Set the Mood
Aside from sharing special bonding time, one of the main reasons parents have story time is to help little ones fall asleep. This is hard to do if you are reading in the living room or if you have a bright ceiling light on in their bedroom. Either add a dimmer switch to the main light or use a small lamp in the room. Having a wall-mounted fountain in the room is helpful, too. The sound of cascading water helps to relax them (and you). You can find a huge selection from stores like Indoor Fountain Pros.
Use a Familiar Name
It doesn't matter if you are telling a story about a monkey, dolphin, or human; the main character can be named after your child. You can always let them pick the name, too.
Personal History Story
Stuck on ideas? Tell them a story about an experience they had when they were younger. Maybe the story is about the day they first realized they have toes or about when they learned how to feed their peas to the dog. Tell the story of how you chose their name or about their first birthday. Maybe the first time they tasted a certain food they made a crazy face. What seems silly to you will be fascinating to them.
Story About You
Surely you have an endless supply of stories you can tell about yourself. Maybe you went on your first rollercoaster with your grandpa or you had a favorite game you always played.
There is nothing wrong with taking a fairytale and a personal story and combing the two. Cinderella gets your daughter's name, but she didn't lose a glass slipper on the steps, it was her favorite fuzzy slippers.
Use Tons of Repetition
Repetition may be boring to you, but not to them. You can use the same dolphin or monkey character in a number of stories. Kids like that the character is familiar. You can also repeat the plot line over-and-over. For example, the monkey loses his banana frequently, but he always finds it under his hat because he hides it there to keep it safe. Pretty soon, they will be able to predict where the banana is whenever the monkey enters a storyline.
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