Stories are integral to being humans whether it’s tales of ancestors from far away lands or my special family favourite of the day my great grandma hid grandad’s trousers when he said he was heading off to join the airforce. He escaped down a drain pipe grabbing another pair of trousers off the line and rode his bike from Dublin to Belfast to sign up. And we think our kids are challenging?
The stories we tell to our children live on long after we do and so do books. I went to the huge Brissie book fair last month and was so excited coming across some of my old favourites like Tikki Tikki Tembo, a stack of Golden Books and some good ole Enid Blyton. Books are such a fabulous way for kids to explore their imagination, to see things they never knew before and find out what’s real and make-believe. My daughter age two puts her foot on the books when we are reading them and says “I want to hop in”. What a magical world she lives in!
Karana Downs Childcare, west of Brisbane have seen royalty descend on their story week celebrations this week. They have had a marvellous makeover for their story week complete with dress ups for both the educators and kids.
The story week is part of their philosophy of learning through play and having a ‘hands on’ approach to inspire children and educators to learn together. I think that’s quite cool. If there is one thing you learn from hanging out with a small person under 5 is that you will learn new things, to do things different and think about the world from a refreshingly different angle. I wish I had a pair of sunnies that I could put on to see the world like an under 5 does everyday. I would probably burn out by 5:00pm and chuck a wobbly about something completely random (sounds like my ‘day job’) and I’d never be able to stay up and watch MKR. Scratch that then.
So don’t rush your story time. Stories before bed are a great chance to chill out and create a solid bedtime routine. We have a few books and then we have what we call “mummy, daddy stories”. They are just made up stories, it’s kind of a legacy started by my dad who has his infamous “silver grey fox stories”. Totally made up but a little bit like Grimm fairy tales, there is always a moral of the story. If you struggle reading out loud go to the library and checkout their story time sessions. they even involve songs and stickers or stamps -winner! Also in the Aussie summer they are also a winner as they have aircon!
Try cutting out pictures and glueing them into a book to make up your own story which can change every night, it’s fun! Tell stories about you growing up, my little ones are truly fascinated by the fact that once I too was young. Yes kids, I suppose it is hard to believe I was young once, with my crows feet and dark circles under my eyes, how many times did you wake me up last night for cuddles or water? I just love how some sites say read the newspaper or a magazine so they can see how important it is to read. I would like you to time this exercise because unless you are behind a two-way mirror as soon as you take 5 to read that book/magazine or newspaper will be the most interesting thing ever!
Now if your brood has grown up and you are missing someone special to read to you should check out the Pyjama Foundation. ‘Pyjama Angels’ are matched with a child in foster care, they visit the same child every week, for 1.5 hours to read books aloud, play educational games and work on their numeracy skills. The volunteers help children develop their learning skills and, demonstrate that the child is valued as an individual.
Everyone should have someone to tell them a story!