Stories are very powerful, especially stories for children. There is something about listening to stories and being read to which strongly appeals to children and adults alike. I think it goes back to ancient times when stories were the way that traditions and information were passed on through generations of people. Stories are totally engrossing. If you watch people being read to or reading a good book, they become completely involved in the story and forget everything else for a time. This is one reason why stories help your child to relax because they take her to a different place in her mind. They allow her to focus on something new.
Reading to your child is warm and relaxing for you both. Reading at bedtime is a lovely ritual which can carry on throughout childhood (and even into early adulthood). It helps your child to relax, settle and go to sleep more easily. It increases the closeness between the two of you. It gives your child opportunities to understand how people in circumstances the same, or different, to theirs feel and behave.
Going to the library and helping your children choose books to read is a fun and rewarding experience. You can decide together what you would like to read at bedtime. You can introduce your children to books that you enjoyed as a child. It is also an opportunity to find some factual books to help them learn more about the world or to back up what they are learning at school.
It can be worth buying some of the books that your children really enjoy because a lot of children will read books they love several times over. Or you may want to read certain books that you read to your older children to your younger ones as well. I have read the whole Harry Potter series to each of my three children, and twice through to two of them! They have also each read all the books themselves. Remember that for children, seeing their parents reading and having lots of books in the house encourage good reading habits. So stories for children and adults are important!
Until my son was about seven, I used to make up stories for him. We invented a whole world around a young boy and his pet wolf and my son would ask me to tell him about these two characters for years. I was surprised how easy it was to keep finding different stories to tell. Once I started a story it seemed almost to take over and tell itself. It gave us both lots of enjoyment and brought us very close to each other.
A wonderful resource if you want to learn to tell stories to your children is: www.storydynamics.com. This website provides loads of information about storytelling, stories, courses, workshops and other resources.
useful resource is a website that provides booklets and workshops on
making up stories for children. You can find it by clicking