One of the most important things children learn at nursery
is how to let their imaginations fly free. Storytelling is a time-honoured
tactic, employed all over the world, throughout history and in every culture,
that helps stretch imaginations and boost creativity. Hereís how to think
outside the box and use art to ignite your little oneís imagination and get
those storytelling juices flowingÖ
Art and storytelling -
a match made in heaven
While itís all too easy to dismiss the creative arts as a
form of play rather than learning, creativity is a skill that needs to be
developed just like any other. Without creative thinking, skills like writing
essays, science experiments and even working out different methods of
approaching maths problems in later life will be a challenge.
Storytelling is part of our everyday routine at Little
Willows and we ensure we have a wide variety of books available in every
playroom - both for children to look through and for adults to read to
individuals and small groups.
We also use art to encourage storytelling due to its visual
focus. Children with low confidence in their language, reading or writing
abilities are unlikely to feel as intimidated by colours and pictures. In fact,
it comes much more naturally to children to interpret visual clues in order to
make sense of the curious world around them. So, by presenting an artwork to
build stories around or providing the opportunity to create one, we are simply
building on this skill.
Tips for drawing out
- Present a painting
Choose a work of art that has a tale already attached to it
- perhaps one featuring mythological, literary or historical characters - and
encourage your child to really observe the picture. Ask open questions about
what they see and allow children the chance to consider their observations on
the colours, shapes and characters. Remember, there are no right or wrongs in
the world of storytelling!
2. Step into the
After a thorough exploration, now is the time to get serious
with the storytelling. Pretend to your child you are Ďstepping into the storyí
and ask what they can see, hear and how they feel. Ask what they think is
happening and what they think is going to happen. With the right encouragement,
children will begin to build a story, and take you along for the ride.
3. Consider the
Of course, itís not just the work of art but the artist that
can be used to inspire. Allow children to consider what kind of person might
have created the artwork, describe their characteristics and where they might
have been while they painted or drew the picture.
Our Little Willows Bath and Corsham nurseries frequently use
books and pictures to develop storytelling themes for children - you should
hear some of the tales they come up with! Give your childís imagination the
best possible start in their school career and contact one of our popular