How to Tell a Story

Once Upon a Time…

From babyhood to teen years, children love to hear a good story. It fascinates me to see their attention span and language development through storytelling.

How to get started: 

Simply narrate your day, narrate the child’s actions, main characters can be the child, family members or fictional, talk about things the child enjoys doing, share stories about when you were a child, use stories to teach or transition activities.

Stories can be simple and short, 3-4 sentences for younger children. Repeat them often but only when they are attentive and listening. The child will learn from the repeated words and anticipate the stories. Use emphasis and dramatic voice tones, hand gestures, tickles, and hugs when appropriate. Have fun!

1. Research the stories you love or have heard, such as folktales.

2. Consider family stories.

3. Look to your own past.

4. Attend storytelling programs.

*Example of a story for a baby* Speak 2-3 sentences and be dramatic!

“Once upon a time “insert child whole name” loved to go on long walks. She loved looking at the trees, feeling the air on her cheeks. She would look at her mom and dad with a biiiiiiggggg smile and say Yippie!” followed by a big hug.


“Telling stories is reminiscent of the old radio days when families gathered around and listened together. So whether you read a story from a book or tell a story from memory, here are some tips on how to make storytelling time truly beneficial for your kids.”

~ Pam Myers, BSEd

How does storytelling benefit children?

Language Skills

As young children listen to a storyteller, they’re hearing inflections in speech and words presented in a compelling and fascinating way. Older children can expand their vocabulary and learn skills that may serve them well if they decide to act in plays later.

Storytelling also presents certain literary devices in a demonstrative and memorable way. Children will see and hear the building of plot, characterization, climax, conflict, conclusion, etc. Perhaps rhyme or poetic prose will be used to tell the story, allowing children to hear the way the language sounds and how that can add to the story.


Without books or illustrations, children have to remember key points of the plot and character names. This is an excellent exercise in memorization skills and it also may help guide children when they wish to write a story of their own.

New Worlds

Storytelling opens children’s minds to other cultures and life philosophies; it develops the inner world of imagination and creative thinking. Children tap into their imaginative minds and provide their own imagery. Storytelling is also a way to bring history alive and inspire further exploration of historical events.


Storytelling connects children with history, families, and each other.

Read More about Storytelling for Children Click Here


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