Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beyond Books - Telling Stories

A slight veer from books specifically, I would love to talk about telling stories.  We have been telling "Beansprout Stories" for well over a year now and it is the highlight of bedtime.  (This is his actual request, "Beanspoutstories" which comes out as one word and makes me giggle because he's onto his alias.)  It's amazing how much kids feed off of hearing stories about themselves and their lives!  We started by simply re-telling Beansprout his adventures from the day, as I had read and heard a few times that it helps children process their day if you go through the details.  As he has gotten older, Beansprout now chimes in with things that he specifically recalls and often times he re-tells certain parts of the day a few times.  I'm thrilled that we've established such a wonderful routine with him, as I think it helps him move on from events that may have bothered him or that he was curious about.

Lunchtime Stories with Beansprout

Since starting "Beansprout Stories" at bedtime, we've moved to using Beansprout stories to talk about bigger events as well.  He LOVES hearing about his birth story and thinks it's just as funny as I do that he relieved himself on one of the doctors when he was born.  He also likes hearing about how brave he was at the dentist and how he fell asleep on the ferry ride we spent so much time preparing him for.  After reading a great post from Royan Lee about "Mike-Stories", we even took some time to record a few of our favorites, with Beansprout chiming in on the good parts.

One other form of storytelling that has been a huge help for us, is re-telling events that scared or hurt our little guy.  Even when he was quite young, he really enjoyed going over how he fell down or how he bumped into something for the hundredth time.  As well, the book The Whole Brain Child helped us support him in overcoming his fear of the stairs.  He had fallen on the stairs one day and spent a month or more not wanting to go down without one of us holding his hand.  When I re-told him the story of what happened a few times, that he wasn't being careful and he hadn't been holding on to the railing, it took no time before he was going down the stairs again on his own.  Amazing.  Even the other day, when he had his first big wipe-out on his bike, telling the story a few times empowered him to get right back on.

My next goal is to try using make-believe storytelling more, using the world around us to create stories!

Do you remember creating stories when you were a kid?  Did you have any favorites that your parents told you?


  1. We like to tell our daughter bed time stories based on what will happen tomorrow. Especially if we have something big planned. Also, I sometimes make up wild stories with no particular basis at all. My dad was good at that and I think he passed that along.

    1. Such a good idea, Andy! I have only recently started that with Beansprout, and think I will have to incorporate it even more now that he's getting older :) Also, I'm envious that you have inherited the ability to come up with wild stories! This is such a struggle for me, but something I know children cherish. Your daughter is a lucky girl!