Once upon a time there was…a great activity for learning and fun and developing kindergarten readiness: telling stories. As parents and caregivers we often read books to young children but we forget that kids also like when we tell them stories. These can often be custom-made including them, their friends, and their favorites. Do you have a child who loves bugs? “Once upon there was a little boy/girl who brought home a giant beetle….” How about a son or daughter who is obsessed with trains? You can tell your own stories about Ryan the railroad engineer or Tanya and the train conductor. Trips on the bus are less long if you share a story about what adventures might happen along the way.
Brains love stories and they create all kinds of important learning connections. As children listen, they are picking up clues about how language works such as word order, sequence, vocabulary and more. Ears need to hear millions and millions of words (the average before kids go to school is about 10 million words a year!) so that the brain figures out how words can rhyme, or sound the same and mean something different. Kids pick up how how words can tell us about feelings and emotions.
Halloween is a fairly controlled time for just small bits of spookiness. After telling some ghost stories, ask your child about things that are scary. Is there something that your child is afraid of? A story that you make up can help your child find a solution to a scary problem. Monsters under the bed? Tell a story about a monster that decided under the bed was too boring, there was nothing to do so instead it went … and have your child finish the story. There might be other concerns that a story will help. Stories are like brain candy for imaginations. Can you share a story-treat with your child?