All posts by Ben

Supercharge your storytelling skills with a free eBook on how to maximise your ability to make a tale come to life. Make your kids' dreams reality and become the master story teller. Join in the discussion and share experiences and stories. Be they bedtime or any time, stories are the way to our children's hearts and minds. Spend a little time and become the amazing story teller that everyone wants to sit next to. Just like the one in the memory of your own childhood.

Bedtime stories and books for children

Setting the scene for story time with your kids

What is the best way to read with our family at home?  How can we instil a love of learning and of books?

What books should we read, and how should we present these to our children?

Many of us would love to help our children to become good readers, to help them to enter the fantastic world of books and literature.  We know what it has to offer, and that good literacy, which is the foundation for success at school and in life, starts in the home, at an early age.

This series of articles (of which this is the first) will introduce us to some of the key areas around storytelling and reading books for our children.

This first article introduces us to the idea of setting the right environment for story time and why we should do it at all. Continue reading Bedtime stories and books for children

More ways to memorize a story for bedtime storytelling

Memorizing Children’s’ Stories

The ability to tell a great story, one that captivates listeners and keeps them on the edges of their seats, is a great talent.

Thankfully, memorizing stories is a talent that any parent can learn!

Memorizing children’s’ stories is much easier than you’re probably thinking.

With this second set of tips and tricks below (checkout the first ones here), you can tell your children a bedtime story…no book included…as early as next week!

In addition to giving you some great memorization tips, we’ll clue you in to some great books filled with stories sure to capture kids’ imaginations.

Continue reading More ways to memorize a story for bedtime storytelling

How to Memorize Children’s Stories for bedtime storytelling

How to Memorize Children’s Stories for bedtime storytelling

We’ve all (well at least if you’re a parent I hope you have) read stories to our children before bedtime.

While these quiet moments with our kids are a great way to spend some quiet time together, sometimes the mad dash to find a storybook can take longer than reading the story!

While nothing will replace reading books to children, memorizing stories is a great way to put some spontaneous fun into their bedtime routine.

In addition, having a cache of stories in your memory is a great way to pass the time during long car trips, while stuck in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or any other place or situation which can be boring for young children.

Here, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to memorize stories and be able to recall them at a moment’s notice.

In addition, we’ll give you some ideas for books full of short and easy-to-remember tales that will delight children of all ages.

Continue reading How to Memorize Children’s Stories for bedtime storytelling

Choosing bedtime stories to read with your kids

Choosing bedtime stories and books to read with your kids

With almost 20,000 new children’s books published in the UK every year, it’s no wonder that choosing the right book can be a difficult or overwhelming task.

Faced with shelf upon shelf of bright, shiny titles in the bookshop or library, where do you start?

Perhaps your confidence has been dashed because you bought a book and found that your child just wasn’t interested in it.

Perhaps your child won’t sit still for five minutes to read with you.

Or perhaps you just think that your child doesn’t like reading?

But remember that finding the right book to share will reinforce your child’s love of reading and will also help strengthen the relationship between the two of you, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Continue reading Choosing bedtime stories to read with your kids

Using the right vocabulary in a story

It was a dark and glacial night…

It’s so obvious, but so often forgotten.

Remember to adjust your vocabulary to your child’s level of understanding.

Kids will mostly allow you a certain amount of leeway as words fly over their heads’, but if they can discern an entire word they don’t understand, they are more than likely going to bring you up on it.

“What’s ‘glacial’ mean Dad?”

Continue reading Using the right vocabulary in a story

How to keep going when you’ve forgotten the lines of the story

Ummmmmm… Forgot your story?

So you’re spinning a splendid saga when suddenly…you’ve forgotten the next part.

It happens.

Be prepared.

There’s nothing worse for a child listening enchanted on the edge of their bed, then to have that magical trance broken, by a wavering hesitant adult.

The storyteller being hesitant about the tale is a real atmosphere killer. Not only could your audience lose confidence in your story, they could lose confidence in you.

You are, after all, to their tender young minds, the person who knows everything, and the fount of all knowledge!

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with this! Continue reading How to keep going when you’ve forgotten the lines of the story

Choosing a new book to read at bedtime

The new book dilemma…

You have bought a new book to read at bedtime with your child.

It’s won all sorts of awards for being fun and engaging and at the same time teaching children something important about life.

You ignored that warning message in your head saying that you’d better check that your daughter will like it before your bought it.

“I love the pictures and the story is AMAZING! Of course she’s going to love it! I love it, so she will as well…”

Continue reading Choosing a new book to read at bedtime

First day at school

Olivia has been looking forward to going to school for well over a year now and yesterday, at 08.45, she finally got her wish.

Weirdly, her excitement and confidence was incredibly catching and I was actually more emotional when we’d been shopping for her school uniform a couple of weeks before.

Walking O in to her class for the first time was a very strange experience.

There was a clear divide between first-child parents and those for whom, this was all old-hat. Continue reading First day at school

What my child’s drawing is telling me – an update

The tales our children tell us

Back in June, I posted this video about the story that a picture that my daughter had drawn for me.

I would recommend that you check it out before going much further as this re-visit is an update comparing the previous picture and the story it told with the new picture and the story it tells about mine and my daughter’s relationship.

This last weekend Olivia drew several new drawings for me and I chose one that she was very proud of and talked me through at length.

In the video below, I briefly talk through the new drawing and compare it to the original she did as a comparison of how things have changed between us. Continue reading What my child’s drawing is telling me – an update

How to get a child to tell you why they were naughty

How to get a child to tell you why they were naughty

Children are inevitably naughty at times. My daughter is no exception

Trying to ask her about why she was naughty and does she understand why she’s being told off can be somewhat of a frustrating exercise because she will normally close down, not meeting my eyes and not talking at all.

A friend of mine gave me a great way of helping us get through that self wall:

Make the naughty thing separate from the child and from the present.

Instead of telling her that she’s a naughty girl, tell her that it was a bad thing that happened.

She knows she’s been naughty, so telling her off is pointless. By separating her from the event and by making it in the past “That was… …that happened”, it de-focusses the telling off and allows her to see that I’m not exploding at her or shouting (or worse), but that I want to have an adult conversation about the event.

This then allows her to come out of her protective cocoon (eyes down, being silent and hugging herself) and we can talk about it.

I should also point out that this technique works with all ages and can be a great way of breaking through teenage moods and tantrums.