Importance of storytelling to children

Importance of Storytelling

Growing up,  listening to stories from my grandparents and parents was one of my favorite pass times and would advocate the importance of storytelling to children from a very young age.

In good old days, my mother used to lie beside me and narrate to me a story of a strong princess who defeated thousands of warriors in battle and how I used to build my own stories around listening to her. How fascinated I was about becoming strong and conquering the world. I remember my grandmother narrating few stories of righteous people and these stories made me what I am today as they helped me to learn very important lessons of life.

I remember how stories of Vikram and Betaal et al use to excite me and over a period of time made me more resourceful and responsible. Most stories taught how Good always defeated the Bad.

With technology evolving at every step and with a culture of nuclear families, children spend most of their time with smartphone and tablets. We have applications that can help us monitor what children watch and can keep track of their every move but nothing can replace those amazing moments.

How visual effects have taken front seat

Storytelling has considerably reduced since visual effects introduced by technology have been introduced which are definitely more engaging. Most parents hand over tablets or smartphones to children to spend their time but it is not the same as storytelling. An education consultant, says, “Storytelling is an interactive activity but on digital mediums it becomes a one-way thing where someone is telling you what to think and showing you an image that they think is appropriate. Thanks to this, a child’s brain becomes a dumping ground because you stop using your imagination and your thinking powers by relying only on what is being spoon-fed to you.” She states that digital story telling is less humane. Talking about how the art of story telling has changed over the years, she explains, “Many parents feel that showing stories on the Internet is as good as narrating them, but storytelling is about interacting with another human being and using one’s imagination to visualise.”

Importance of Storytelling


Introduction to new vocabulary

One of the importance of storytelling to children is that listening to stories enhances vocabulary. My son is 3 years old and has learnt new words because of the stories I narrate. Sometime he gets curious and tries to learn more about the words that come out of my mouth. Best part is that he remembers most of the words and retains them.


Helps children learn

With different stories children tend to learn more about sounds, words and language. This enhances learning skills and increases their absorption power. Most children remember stories since they love them. Storytelling is an art and if done with modulation can excite a child’s mind thus gaining full attention.


Enhances listening

While listening to a story your child get engaged and learns to listen to you. While growing up, storytelling encourages and enhances the listening skills of children. When a habit of listening to stories is inculcated in them, they learn to become better listeners. It provides them the necessary training to listen and understand more, instead of talking.


Introduce your culture and values

Storytelling can play an important role is transforming a child’s perspective. It could help you pass on your values and thoughts to your child in a simpler way. You could narrate stories that can allow your child to learn more about your culture and its various intricacies. During Diwali, I created a story through which my son learned about the essence of the festivals and why we celebrate Diwali. Now he tells this story to anyone who will listen to him.

Importance of Storytelling
Importance of Storytelling

Innovation and skills expansion

Through story telling you could introduce innovation. My son would listen to a story at night and the next day will come up with a new drawing or would create something new using his building kits that would relate to something we discussed yesterday.


Encourage emotional development

Storytelling is a great way to enhance emotions of your children. A Story could actually run them though different emotions and this eventually makes them strong and help them understand their various emotions.


Bedtime Stories

I am sure most of us would have seen Bedtime Stories (an Adam Sandler movie). It is one of my favorites. Storytelling could be a great way for you to bond with your child and making it a routine during bedtime could be a great ritual.  Even if you are working, a small bed time story can allow you to connect with your child. Any child would love to spend this time and cherish these memories.

And you never know your stories can become real and you might get a Ferrari for freeeeeeeeee (you have to watch the movie to get this reference)!!


Reduces TV and smartphone time

Most children are addicts and spend most of their time with tablets and TV. Most parents complain about children spending too much time. Storytelling could help reduce binge watching. My child loves to listen to stories and loves spending his day drawing characters from the stories. A story can also be used as a bargaining instrument once your child gets addicted to it. Like if my child misbehaves his story time is reduced by 10 minutes.

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today – Robert Mckee

Read more about introducing reading to your child, click here

Time to relax from hectic schedule

A storytelling time could be a time when you could relax after a hectic schedule and spend some time as a family. Some days you could ask your child to narrate you a story. This would not only enhance his imagination but also confidence.

I am sure reading this article would motivate you to incorporate storytelling time in your schedule. Don’t forget to share your views.

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27 Comments on “Importance of storytelling to children”

  1. I believe our children are missing all the fun of storytelling we use to have in our own times. My grandparents were great storytellers and they used to tell the best stories of their times and we use to listen to their stories even we have listened to them nay times. Some stories were fiction but most of the stories were real facts and nonfiction. Yes, our children need the same and thanks for sharing them importance

  2. I don’t know who enjoys story time more – me or my son! It’s such an important part of our day. I hope he cherishes it in years to come.

  3. I always loved storytelling sessions as a kid. That’s when I get to imagine being in the story myself. As an adult now, I love telling stories to kids and enjoy looking at the exciting looks on their faces.

  4. We read with our boys every night before bed. They each get to pick out one book, then my oldest son has his “take-home-reader” that he has to read for kindergarten. My husband and I just started reading Harry Potter to my oldest son, too. So we do a lot of reading here!

  5. One of the things that I love most about storytelling is how it can improve my sons imagination. When I tell him a story he likes to retell it after I do. I love hearing how it evolves and changes and how he interprets my story.

  6. With the rise of audiobooks I think storytelling is easier than it has ever been because now you can share your favorite stories especially when they are age appropriate with them right away. I totally agree storytelling is so important and I love your points.

  7. I have the same belief as you! My grandparents used to tell the best stories that sparked imagination and appreciation for good story-telling. Many life lessons and bonding took place from my grandma telling my brother and I thought provoking stories. I love to pass that on to my kiddos ; )

  8. Some of my favourite memories from when I was younger were from my parents reading stories to me. As a literature student now, I really appreciate how important storytelling to young children is too!

  9. Story telling to young children helps build their interest in reading and love for books. My parents did the same thing when I was growing up. Every night, I looked forward to those bonding moments with my mom and a good book. I continued the habit and did the same with my own kids.

  10. I grew up reading bible stories with my mom. She also tells some bedtime stories when we we’re kids. It’s one of the experiences I will always remember. I plan to do the same for my future kids.

  11. Not sure about the new generations but I definitely remember how important stories were for me as a kid and much they helped develop my imagination and creativity! Glad to read that the tradition of storytelling is maintained and encouraged 🙂

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