Children and Parents Having Fun From Tots to Tweens

National Storytelling Week

Saturday sees the start of the 12th annual National Storytelling Week. It runs from 28th January until 4th February and celebrates the power of storytelling to enhance creativity and encourage imagination. Climbing Rainbows are bonkers about books and we all love a good yarn so here are a few ideas for filling this week with some extra special storytelling fun.

Move bedtime reading downstairs for the week. Abandon the written word and instead sit together in the living room and tell stories. Turn the lights off and tell stories by candle or firelight – I have done this with classes of school children too and it is amazing what they come up with when the harsh, exposing light of electricity is removed.

Once you’re settled have a go at one or two of these ideas. You can try a different one every night or do the same one and build a story through the week which you add to nightly.

  • Have a theme for the week. You could be pirates and each evening can see the next chapter in your adventures or you could be space explorers, a group of animal friends or dragon tamers
  • Use an object to start a story; stones are good for this as are puppets, toys, a piece of jewellery, photographs, postcards, newspaper headlines or pictures from magazines, an old dress, a hat or a pair of shoes…
  • Make a den out of blankets and sheets and crawl inside to tell stories of treasure and adventures in far off places.
  • Recount some early memories and some family mythology
  • Give them a topic to start them off or  re-tell an old favourite ( you can even re-tell an old favourite in the style of another one…)
  • Act out a nursery rhyme or fairy tale. One of my favourite ice breakers when working with a new class, is to split them into groups with a fairy tale each which they then have to act out using no words at all apart from the word I give them. This causes enormous hilarity and forces creative expression upon them. The group who has Jack and the Beanstalk to tell with only the word sausage to use is always a good one!
  • Play charades, heads, bodies and legs and consequences
  • Most of all have fun playing with words and making up stories!

Have you any other ideas to encourage storytelling?

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  1. I love the idea of candlelight. We have story cubes and they are great for getting a story started when we are stuck

    • Candlelight really does make a difference, it’s easier to talk in the dark.


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