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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

Important Aspects Of A Good Storytime!

In our last blog, we discussed why storytime is so important for kids in their years of growth and development, and beyond as well. Today, we delve into the important aspects of a good storytime - fun, engaging, and educative for children. How parents and educators can invest a little time and effort to make storytime for children a fun learning experience is what we are going to cover in this piece. 

It is important to know some of the crucial aspects of storytelling or what makes story time more interesting. Here are some pointers that will help you.

Choose age-appropriate books: You can select picture books or story books appropriate for your child’s age. The books you select should not be too complicated for them to understand, nor should they be too simple. You can choose genres that your child likes and then move on to others.

Create a cozy reading environment: You can choose a cozy corner or a comfortable spot for story time and keep aside a specific time of the day. Try to remove any distractions for your undivided attention.

Make it interactive: While reading the stories, try to be interactive by using different tones, voices, or expressions for different characters. You can ask your child to participate by encouraging them to answer questions or making predictions about what will happen in the story.  Here are some suggestions to make story time more exciting and engaging.

a)     Voice Modulation Tips:

-        High Pitch: Use a higher pitch for younger or smaller characters to make them sound light and youthful.

-        Deep Tone: Use a deeper tone for older or more authoritative characters to lend them weight and gravitas.

b)     Change Your Pace:

-        Slow Down: Slow your speaking pace during suspenseful or emotional parts to build tension or highlight importance.

-        Speed Up: Increase your pace during exciting or action-packed scenes to convey urgency and keep children engaged.

c)      Emphasize Key Words:

-        Stress important words or phrases to draw attention to them, which helps in conveying the emotions and the significance of the story's messages.

d)     Pause Effectively:

-        Use pauses to create a dramatic effect or to give the child a moment to absorb the story, especially after a revelation or an important plot point.

e)     Incorporate Silence:

-        Sometimes, a moment of silence can be powerful, especially after delivering a crucial line or before a significant action, enhancing the impact on the listener.

Additional Storytelling Techniques: Some of these additional suggestions can make story time more fun and an enjoyable learning experience. It won’t take much effort to execute these yet giving you good results.

a)     Character Voices: Create distinct voices for different characters to help children differentiate and remember them. This could be as simple as changing the pitch, adding an accent, or speaking in a certain rhythm.

b)     Facial Expressions and Body Language: Use your face and hands to express emotions and actions. Wide eyes, raised eyebrows, or a tilted head can add an extra layer of meaning and engagement to your storytelling.

c)      Props and Visual Aids: Sometimes using simple props like a toy or a picture can make the story more tangible and visually stimulating for young listeners.

d)     Interactive Elements: Ask questions during the story to involve the child, making them think or predict what might happen next. This can be particularly engaging and makes them feel part of the story.

e) Repetition and Rhythm: Children love repetition and rhythmic elements in stories. Repeating certain phrases or having a rhythmic flow can make the story more memorable and enjoyable.

f) Sensory Descriptions: Describe scenes vividly using all senses—what characters see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. This helps children imagine the scene more vividly and engages them deeply.

Plan post-reading activities: After the story time, you can discuss the book with your child. Try to ask them questions about the story, what they liked and what they didn’t. This creates an opportunity to develop their recall and language skills. Ask them if they wish that the story had a different ending or what are their learnings from the story. You can also plan some vocabulary and creative writing exercises based on the story.

Make it a regular activity: Make story time a regular activity in your child’s routine. You can set aside a specific time for reading together, like before bed, or make it a special activity to be enjoyed together whenever you have a free moment.

Practice Makes Perfect

a) Rehearse: Read the story by yourself first to find the right voices and pacing for different parts.

b) Record and Playback: Recording your storytelling and listening back can help you notice areas for improvement that you might miss in the moment.

c) Feedback: Occasionally ask your child what they liked best about how you told the story, and what they would like more or less of.

By incorporating these voice modulation techniques and expressive storytelling methods, parents can significantly enhance the bedtime story experience, making it a more dynamic and memorable part of the day for both themselves and their children.


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