It’s National Storytelling Week, which this year runs until the 6th February. Organised by the Society of Storytelling, the week is all about celebrating the history, importance and fun of sharing stories.
Storytelling is one of the world’s most ancient art forms and exists in every culture across the planet. From cave paintings thousands of years ago to modern day films and books, it’s an important way of passing on history and folklore to the next generation.
It’s also a great way for your kids to unleash their imaginations, practise their reading, writing and speech, all while having lots of fun.
Through the Society of Storytelling there’s links to activities for National Storytelling Week, but here are some ideas in which the whole family can get involved.
Get your kids to raid the fancy dress box, dress up as their favourite characters and act out a scene from their favourite story. If they’ve got old Halloween outfits, you could ask them to make up a spooky story and characters and play it out to you.
You could make it extra fun by making a TV screen out of cardboard so they can pretend they’re on Jackanory, or build a den together, pick your favourite book from when you were a child and share it over a hot chocolate.
We know children have vivid imaginations, so let them practise writing by coming up with their own stories and drawings to go along with it. You could set a theme for them and see what wild and wonderful things they invent!
With many families separated at the moment, why not get the grandparents or relatives involved by reading a bedtime story over FaceTime, and get your kids to demonstrate their reading skills by reading back to their grandparents too.
It doesn’t have to be a story from a book either, lots of children are interested to learn about when their parents and grandparents were children and the things they got up to, so encourage them to tell stories from their own childhood (no doubt with a little embellishment) too.
It’ll be a nice way to learn about another generation and spend time together, even if they can’t see each other in person at the moment.
As we’re in lockdown there are lots of online events for kids to join in on. Little Supernovas & Onceupona are hosting live interactive, fun and engaging storytelling for 30mins every Monday at 5pm.
They offer a different story each time to keep your children entertained while in lockdown and their stories range from topical ones such as Chinese New Year and Easter to well-known fairytales and fables. There’s a subscription cost of £5 but they do offer free trials. For more information visit www.littlesupernovas.com/
In ‘normal’ times, your kids’ school might have an evening where they go back into school in their pyjamas and enjoy a hot chocolate while listening to some storytelling. With the country still in lockdown, this might be a virtual event instead.
They might also have other activities planned for the week as part of the curriculum, so it’s worth checking with teachers what they have in store in case you need to prepare for anything!
National Storytelling Week offers everyone the chance to enjoy a good story and a bit of an escape from the real world. Whether you enjoy the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, or the magical worlds of Narnia and Neverland, the animals from Beatrix Potter or the crazy characters of Roald Dahl, there are so many great stories for both adults and children to enjoy together.