Tips for making bedtime fun with stories
Evocative storytelling can inspire a sense of wonder in both the young and old. (Photo: StoryFest)

Tips for making bedtime fun with stories

Stories have power.

For children, stories are the keys to opening an imaginary world where they can lose themselves in dreams. And a parent with a great bedtime story can easily turn a child’s bed into a pirate ship, a royal throne or a magical cabin in the middle of the woods; the possibilities are endless.

But after a weary day at work, it is easy for parents to find bedtime storytelling more of a chore than a time to bond and dream alongside their children. So, reading the words off the pages of a story book usually passes for storytelling.

Yet it doesn’t have to take a lot to make bedtime stories a magical time for both parents and children.

StoryFest, Singapore’s annual international storytelling festival, which runs from 21 to 24 June this year, will show participants, both young and old, how telling and listening to stories can be a transformative experience.

The festival includes family-friendly storytelling sessions, as well as workshops for adults to help them hone their storytelling skills and use them for teaching and in leadership.

As for making bedtime stories an enjoyable time for both parent and child, here are three easy tips from the professional storytellers at StoryFest.

Engage the child

Storyteller Martina Pisciali from Italy recommends involving children as co-storytellers so that they are drawn into the story and are actively listening. They can repeat spells, make noises, voice their opinions, anticipate something that happens repeatedly in the story, or act out simple gestures that mirror lines in the story.

Pause for effect

American storyteller David Novak suggests pausing intermittently. “Pauses build anticipation and allow you to check in with your child. Either your child will be asleep and story time is over, or they will ask, ‘What happens next?’.”

Allow yourself to have fun

Storyteller Daniel Allison from Scotland says: “Think of story time as playtime for yourself. Throw yourself into the characters, be silly, and don’t be afraid to growl, sing, bark and roar.”

Details on StoryFest here.

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