Let's pretend that you are just beginning your storytelling journey. Maybe you have not had a lot of practice making up stories yet. Maybe you tried and your mind went totally blank. Maybe you even began to make up a story but you felt that it wasn't "good enough" so you stopped. First, confidence is the biggest hinderance we have when it comes to storytelling. Our children will love the stories we tell! Sometimes it is less the actual content and more that we are totally present when we are making up a story. Twelve Little Tales was created to help parents and caregivers become storytellers, so part of the content is given to you and will make it much easier to get started.
One of your first steps can be to imagine a storyteller. What does the storyteller look like to you? A wise grandmother or grandfather? A person from a different culture? Someone with glasses or a beautiful shawl? Imagine this person and then try to embody them. This may be easy for you - or you may need a physical prop. Find the perfect rocking chair or stool, or maybe that shawl that you never wear but will be exactly right to bring out the storyteller within you.
The second step is to light a candle or sing a song (or both) signifying that it is now story time. Whether it is nighttime or daytime it is nice to surround your storytelling with ritual. I have recorded a storytelling song below. I don't know who wrote it so if you do please let me know! This is a song that many Waldorf teachers sing at the beginning of story time. After the song the children and I always say "Where was it, where was it not? When was it, when was it not?" And then I begin.
The third thing is to begin telling your story. You may tell the simplest story that you know by heart, or you may wish to learn a new one prior to beginning. Or you can use these Twelve Little Tales story starters as part of the process. The tales do involve some reading just to get everyone started in the land or adventure of the month, but the 12 prompt cards are all open ended, each ending with a ... Sometimes the cards end mid-sentence and sometimes not. What you will do is continue from the prompt. The starter story is how we are introduced to the characters this month, where they live and a basic storyline to work with. Next there are twelve story starter prompt cards. Each is an offshoot of the original story. A child may choose one or you may wish to. You may want to read them in advance to let the stories begin to brew in you.
The VERY MOST IMPORTANT THING is to look at your child or children and notice that they are looking at you with wide eyed wonder, waiting for what you will say next. Don't let that intimidate you! Just keep going and feel the energy that is begin created in this magical experience of storytelling for it really is magic.
Please ask me any questions you may have along the way and let me know what your initial experiences with storytelling have been and how they have progressed.
I am by no means a professional singer :) here is the song that I like to sing for story time.
Twelve Little Tales is a project to spread the art of storytelling far and wide.