How To Use Stories With Safeguarding and PSED

safeguarding through stories

This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days 

Protecting and safeguarding the children in our care is a crucial role that we all have, but it can also be one of the most complex and difficult tasks because it covers everything from getting them to wash their hands before eating through to really serious physical and emotional abuse.

It can also be difficult to decide whether or not you need to raise a concern sheet with your safeguarding lead because you know that it is a serious step to take. So, wouldn’t it be great to have some tools in your armoury to help you do just that?

Well that’s where stories can help!

Stories can help you understand what a child may be thinking or feeling because they will often use them to help solve their problems or deal with stressful situations. Children will also use stories as a way of communicating because they are natural storytellers themselves.

How to use stories to identify safeguarding or PSED issues?

One idea you can use is creative storytelling – but what is it I hear you ask?

With creative storytelling you get the children to make puppets of the characters in a story or something else linked to the story and then use the puppets to interact with that story.

But how does that help me with safeguarding and PSED concerns?

Creative storytelling has many benefits because it enables you to watch how they interact with others, you will see if they mimic behaviours they may have seen elsewhere, so for example if they have witnessed bullying behaviour or have been bullied themselves then the child might emulate that while they are playing.

If you witness something like this then it’s an ideal way for you to ask questions but keep your questions relevant to the story. Talk about the character they’ve got and not them because a child will often open up far more if they’re talking about their puppet because it’s not about them and will take the attention away from them. This will help the child feel more comfortable when talking to you.  In addition, children often talk more with a puppet they’ve made because they take ownership of it.

However creative storytelling also has lots of other benefits too!

Benefits of creative storytelling:

  • Boosts language and communication skills
  • Helps to develop fine motor skills
  • Helps to develop team building skills
  • It’s interactive
  • Helps children understand the world around them
  • Develops their imaginations
  • Develops thinking skills

To find out more about how to use creative storytelling and other ways to use to stories to identify safeguarding and PSED issues, come along to our Safeguarding Through Stories Workshop on the 5th April 2019, where you will gain practical advice and tips to use for this important topic.

In the meantime, here’s our range of Creative Storytelling Kits from the multi-award winning Little Creative Days who will be running our workshops. There’s everything you need all in one box including full instructions, other linked activities and 6 weeks of lesson plans to free up that all important preparation time.

safeguarding eal workshops

Little Creative Days

little creative days

Tonya and Natasha, the storytelling sisters, are authors of a series of books about a little dog called Pojo who gets itchy paws and goes off on adventures.

They have won multiple awards for their puppet making kits that accompany the stories including Teach Early Years Excellence award for Communication and Language Resource.

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