Storytelling for Children: Be Prepared For Changes

Posted in StoryTelling Tips on October 27th, 2011 by Storyteller – 6 Comments

Of all the storytelling techniques for children you might have practiced, the most important technique is “be ready for anything.” You have to be prepared with an assortment of stories when storytelling for children.

Years ago, I had been hired to tell stories to a group of children at a local library. I was told to expect kids of roughly ages 6-8. For me, that age is about the youngest that I feel I can be effective with as a storyteller for children that are not family.

When the audience started to arrive at the library, they were not the older children I was expecting but rather just-barely-beyond-toilet-trained toddlers, who had much of their focus spent on their “big boy pants” (the pull-up pants that are a version of very absorbent underpants) and the exciting-to-a-child Velcro(tm) strips on their shoes.

All of my prepared stories were geared for the listening and participative skills of children older than the little ones before me. I had to dig deep into my mental repertoire of stories and games to entertain this very young crowd. The kids, parents, librarians and I had a good time but it was the longest 25 minutes of my life!

Events with children are always in flux. Noise levels change, children wiggle and stand, cry and shout, listen or wander. I have learned that the posted age-range for public events is usually ignored by parents and caregivers. Even in schools, the schedule can change in a moment and you might find yourself with a different age group than expected.

Be flexible and have a wide variety of stories to tell when storytelling for children.

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Sean Buvala is the author of the parenting and storytelling book, “DaddyTeller,” available at Amazon in Kindle and print form.

Storytelling for Children:No Story Book Needed Video

Posted in StoryTelling Tips, Video on July 3rd, 2010 by Storyteller – Be the first to comment

Storytelling for children has posted a video version of our previous article. You can find it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FrCVRPooeE
…or you can watch this storytelling tips video right here:

Storytelling for Children: 3 Places You Don’t Need a Story Book.

Posted in daddyteller, StoryTelling Tips on July 1st, 2010 by Storyteller – 4 Comments

Storytelling for children is usually dependent on having kids’ story books available. Do you always need supplies for storytelling with children? Audio tapes, CD’s and books all have their place, but they are not always convenient.

Here are three places you will be glad that you don’t have to rely on “things” to keep your child’s mind engaged:

1. Driving in the car
So, what if you forget the pile of DVD movies? What if every one of them is scratched? It is easy when we are driving to want to lull our kids into obedience with mindless watching of kiddie videos. And, sometimes, safety requires it.

However, there are plenty of times that we can tell stories in the car. When it’s safe to do so, turn the radio off and ask your kids, “Do you want me to tell you a story?” Then you can speak your stories back to the little monkeys behind you; taking those momentary glances into the mirror to catch some fleeting eye contact.

When you have done this enough times, the question you will ask will turn into, “Which story do you want me to tell?” And you’ll be asked for encore presentations.

(Learn more about bookless storytelling when you get the DaddyTeller book by Sean Buvala.)

2. At the doctor’s office
Who hasn’t been stuck in a pediatrician’s office with a bored child? Even in a circus-like doctor’s waiting room filled with distractions, your child can grow weary and cranky. This is the perfect time to bring out a tale from your head and become a child whisperer as you tell that story right into their ear. By the way, it’s okay if you tell it a bit louder than that. The other parents in the office are going to be wishing they had your great skill as they see that even their kids are listening to YOU tell a story.

3. Bedtime
You might ask, “Isn’t bedtime the bastion of storybooks? Aren’t there always books available?” If you have burned out on children’s’ storybooks and cannot find that darn “goodnight to the moon book,” you will be thanking me for this tip. Learn to tell bedtime stories from your heart and mind. You’ll enjoy having a few minutes of actually looking into the eyes of your child instead of the ink on the page. You will revel in watching your kids faces as they seem to live the words you speak to them in story. Bedtime isn’t just for books- you can’t build a relationship with a book. Why should the intimacy of bedtime kids stories be missed while you are glued to the page?

As parents we develop many innate skills. Storytelling for children, sans the kids’ story books, should be one of them.

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Sean Buvala invites you to learn more about storytelling with children in his book, “DaddyTeller.” Get free stories and training videos when you visit his website at http://www.daddyteller.com.

Storytelling for Children: Three Quick Tips

Posted in StoryTelling Tips on June 25th, 2010 by Storyteller – 2 Comments

Storytelling for children is fun! Storytelling is good for both the listener and the teller. We want to encourage you to put the book down and actually experience the joy of watching a child become immersed in the story. Although it might seem easier to just pop in one of those children’s storytelling tapes or CD’s, real storytelling with children requires the storyteller to be completely immersed in the experience, too.

Here are three storytelling tips to help you with storytelling for children. The tips apply for bedtime kid’s stories and even for storytelling in the classroom.

1. The most important storytelling technique: look the child in the eyes.

When you are holding a book, you can’t fully engage the child as you are giving your focus to the words. You’ve heard the expression, the eyes are the windows to the soul? The eyes are also the window to the inner lives of children. You can see the excitement building in their eyes or maybe you’ll see confusion and know you have to take your story slower. As well, children get to see your enthusiasm as they watch you tell.

2. Use gestures freely.
Be the elephant. Show the long trunk using your arm as you make elephants sounds! Point to where the characters are going. Put your hand to your brow as you squint to see far away things. When you are doing storytelling for children- remember that in their little minds, they often think the story is really happening! Use your whole body to tell stories! Remember, your voice is part of the storytelling process. Use a big voice to be a loud giant or a small, squeaky voice for little mice. Have some fun and mix it up- how about the giant having the small squeaky voice?

3. Expect a demand for repeat performances!

When you have hit upon a story that children love or need to hear, they’ll ask for that story over and over. Since you’re not relying on a book for your storytelling stories, you will always be ready to captivate a child with a great story. By the way, children love repetition. It’s normal for a child to want the same story over and over again. There’s something in your great story that the child subconsciously needs to learn or understand. So, when you are asked for the same story, know that you are helping that child grow and learn. Literacy begins at home!

Put down the storybook, learn some classic bedtime stories and join the fun of storytelling with children.

We will help you get started. Go to the www.daddyteller.com site today and download a free story to learn to tell. Look for the little mouse on the front page and click right on him.

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Sean Buvala is the executive director of Storyteller.net. He’s also the author of the parenting book “DaddyTeller: How to be a Hero to Your Kids and Teach Them What’s Really Important by Telling Them One Simple Story at a Time,” where he teaches Dads (and Moms, too!) how to engage their children with anytime storytelling.

Youtube Video: Storytelling for Children in Many Places

Posted in daddyteller, Video on June 21st, 2010 by Storyteller – Be the first to comment

Here’s a video that talks about the places you can use storytelling for children. Not just bedtime. Watch it at YouTube when you go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3IvvfoZgBA

Storytelling for Children

Posted in General on June 20th, 2010 by Storyteller – Be the first to comment

Storytelling for Children is fun and exciting!

Don’t be fooled: kids bedtimes stories aren’t just for sleepy time anymore. You can tell stories for children in a variety of settings such as waiting in line at the grocery store, in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office and, yes, even, bedtime stories. Although children’s books on tape or CD are a great place to start, we’re going to help you learn to tell stories with children, without a book! Maybe we will include some free stories for bedtime. Watch us grow.

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