Storytelling: How to Attract & Keep a Child’s Attention
Do you remember the first time you have been transported to a magical place when listening to stories? We all experienced that when we were children. It’s because storytelling has a way of opening our creative mind. Well, that is, if the storyteller knows what to do.
As parents of preschoolers, it will benefit you and your children when you can unlock the secrets of effective storytelling. Not only will you help nurture your child’s creativity and imagination. You also build more meaningful bonding moments with your little ones.
As a preschool in New York, here are storytelling tips that we know can help you.
- Focus on the main theme
Every story has a theme, and this should be covered from beginning to end. For children to be hooked to your story, ensure that every character and setting you mention links to the main theme. Some children can be very curious. When they ask you with questions in the middle of your storytelling, answer them with eagerness.
- Create an interesting introduction
In our center for childcare in Bronx, New York, we utilize our voices to make sound effects or some exciting songs. We know that capturing the children’s attention at the very beginning is a powerful start to make them stay hooked until the end.
- Use simple words
In other words, before you do your storytelling, plan and prepare for how you will do it. Think of yourself as one of the child listeners. Will you understand the words you’re going to use? Children have a very simple vocabulary. Get into their level and use the words they speak.
- Apart from simple words use descriptive terms
These are words that help children to visualize the scenes in their imagination. For instance, instead of saying “beautiful”, you can make descriptions about what beautiful is, from the physical appearance to the character’s attitude. You can describe the color of the hair and eyes, the softness of the voice, and their love for family, to name a few.
- Look at the children in their eyes
When you maintain eye contact, you are also making a connection with your audience. This connection helps make the story more appealing, interesting, and relatable.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to capture children’s attention when storytelling. In our head start pre-k, we know how storytelling can also expand the child’s learning potential. For that reason, we encourage you to open the opportunities to tell stories to your children at home.