This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days A child learning to speak their first words is one…
Why parents engaging with their child’s stories is key
This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days
Why parents engaging with their child’s stories is the key to boosting their language and communication skills
Did you know that the more words that a child knows by the age of 8 is the biggest predictor of their future success, regardless of their social and economic background?
It’s also been established that children with poor vocabulary at the age of 5 are more than twice as likely to be unemployed by the age of 34.
So having a good command of language and vocabulary can help a child succeed in life because it enables them to express themselves and communicate effectively and gives them the skills for the future.
A parent’s role in developing their child’s verbal skills is crucial and reading stories and encouraging a love of books plays a big part in that development as well as being good for their mental health and well-being.
However, not all parents feel confident about reading to their children. This can be for a number of reasons, perhaps English is not there first language, they’re dyslexic, they don’t have an interest in books themselves, they may be time poor or they may be illiterate and find reading difficult.
But there are ways to overcome these problems and that’s where learning to make up stories can really help.
Storytelling has a number of benefits for a child’s development apart from building their speaking and listening skills, it also develops their thinking skills, their memories and their social and emotional development, and best of all you can do it anywhere and at anytime.
So what games can you teach parents?
An ideal game that they can play with their children if they are out and about would be to pick a person at random and then make up a story about what that person does for a living and where they might be going to. Or maybe if they are in a shop pick out a couple of items and the children need to fit those items into a story, e.g. a mop and a packet of peas.
Another little game they could play might be to take a well-known fairytale and change the characters in it and make up the story, so the 3 Little Pigs might be the 3 Little spacemen and then see what fun they can have. Spacemen finding a house of straw and a house of sticks could be quite amusing and that’s not to mention what those spacemen might make of the big bad wolf!
You’ll be amazed at what the children can come up with and they’ll soon forget all about being bored in that queue at the supermarket checkout.
To find out more about how parents can boost their child’s vocabulary, why not come along to our interactive Engaging Parents to Develop Language and Communication workshop on the 15th February 2019 to get some hands-on practical advice and fresh ideas.
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.