Share the gift of storytelling

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As families approach the holidays, an activity that all young children enjoy is story telling.  Story telling is one very effective way for opening up a child’s imagination, feelings, and fun with young children at home.  Children love to hear and respond beautifully to a vital, creative, and involved story teller.  Without a lot of money spent or abundant resources, you can provide a variety of props for story telling.  The back of a chair or couch, behind a bedsheet, or simple tagboard, a child’s imagination and perception can go anywhere!  Through story telling, children can experience many skills, emotions, and possibilities such as: mastery of listening skills, use of comprehension skills, extension of verbal language, practice of sequencing skills, expression of feelings and emotions, opportunities for role-playing, provision of independent thinking, encouraging creative expression, and providing growth of constructive socialization skills.
Young children love a variety of techniques for story telling of their favorite books as well as allowing your child to dictate their own stories.
You don’t need a lot of fancy props or anything when you do verbal story telling.  As you tell or read the story use your voice, mannerisms, and body movements to convey emphasis and emotion.  Children are so quiet and spellbound when you show excitement in the story you are reading or telling.  
Children get really excited and want mom or dad to repeat over and over simple finger plays.  When you are riding in the car during the holidays or having to wait on a meal in a restaurant children love to do short rhyming stories.  Make up rhymes about holiday items such as bells, gifts, trees, sleds, lights, etc. 
Simple home-made flannelboards are priceless in illustrating childrens favorite stories.  Children love to interact with the stories by moving the pieces, taking the pieces down and replacing them, sequencing the events in the story on the flannelboard, and just feeling the pieces as you tell the story.  This visual is priceless in telling a child’s favorite story. 
Puppets are a huge favorite with young children in telling a story.  Simple finger puppets, hand puppets, sock puppets, glove puppets, puppet masks, wooden puppets, clothespin puppets, the possibilities for creativity are endless! 
Young children love to dramatize stories as they interact with the story.  Simple costumes can be made from what you have around the house from sheets, towels, brown paper bags, to old materials. 
Childrens imaginations are awesome on what they can come up with. 
Visit your local library and ask your librarian for books appropriate for your age child.  There are so many neat holiday books out there according to your family’s traditions.  Too there are several valuable resources listed on the web. 
Storytelling for your young child becomes an avenue for your child to learn and appreciate the world around them.  Fill up those spare moments during the holidays and allow your child to express himself through the art of storytelling. 
This will definitely make a lasting memory and gift for your child to pass on!

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