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Children love stories at this age. Stories tell children their histories and can be about almost anything.

Storytelling is valuable

Storytelling is an activity that whānau and their tamariki can enjoy together.

Storytelling can often involve children more than passively listening to a book. This age group is ready and eager to participate in stories. Storytelling encourages creativity and communication skills. Stories can also be adapted for individual children’s interests.

Through storytelling, whānau can entertain, teach and strengthen the relationships with their tamariki.

Stories tell our histories

People have been telling each other stories forever. Our ancestors will have gathered together and probably sat around the fire at night telling stories. Those stories got handed down from generation to generation to become part of our histories.

Tamariki can feel loved and treasured and can be entertained and educated by listening to an adult telling a story. Stories can be about anything or anyone.

Pātai atu ki te whānau:

  • Can you remember anyone telling you stories as a child?
  • What were they about?
  • Can you remember how you felt listening to those stories?

Stories are everywhere

Stories are found everywhere – in the natural world, on the internet, in the newspaper, at the library, on the radio or television, from the neighbours and the whānau.

Stories about events in their daily lives are perfect for tamariki this age. What happened at kōhanga, the beach, playgroup or Nana’s birthday party can all be scenes for a story.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, here are some simple story starters that might help get you going:

  • ‘When I was a little boy your age …’
  • ‘Guess what happened at my work today ...?’
  • ‘I used to have a pet called …’
  • ‘Remember the day we caught that crab at the beach …?’
  • ‘One day, when I was driving my car on a very dusty road …’
  • ‘Long ago, Ranginui and Papatūānuku loved each other ...’

Adding extra ‘oomph’ to your story

Add interest to stories by varying the pace or volume of your voice. Scary parts might have a whispering voice, while in moments of anticipation you might slow your speech right down.

Use different voices for different characters and show how the characters are feeling with your facial expressions, body movements and changes in your voice.

Involve tamariki by having repeated lines that they can join along with.

Use some of your child’s toys as characters in your story:

‘Once upon a time, Ted met Mr Lion and … what do you think they said to each other?’

Have a problem in your story that needs to be solved:

‘One morning, we woke up and found that a very scary thing had happened. In our kitchen there was a huge …’

Make sure the problem gets sorted out:

‘Luckily, Koro arrived with his …’

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Kōrero mai mō tō tātou whānau – teach me about my family so I will learn who we are, where we’re from and what our stories are about

Six things children need – Te kōrero me te whakarongo – talking and listening

We enjoy sharing stories, jokes and games in our whānau.

Helpful resources for whānau