One of our favourite activities here at Wellies is storytelling. Stories have so much to offer! They develop listening and communication skills, improve concentration and memory, bring experiences alive, and create a sense of wonder! 
Stories can also provide information, widen your child’s vocabulary and make important links between the spoken and written words, as well as stimulating an interest and enjoyment of books. 
 
Bedtime, bath time, on the bus, in the car, in the park, in the pram, in the cot, when you’re in the doctors waiting room or at the dentist ... any time is a good time for a story! You can make books part of your daily routine – keep some in your bag to enjoy wherever you go. 
 
Sharing stories, talking and singing every day helps your child’s development in lots of ways. Reading and sharing stories can: 
 
• help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills 
• help your child’s brain, social skills and communication skills develop 
• spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity 
• learn to value books and stories 
• help your child understand the emotions that go along with a story, e.g. happiness and sadness. 
• help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’ 
 
Sharing stories with your child doesn’t mean you have to read, just by looking at books you can make up stories from the pictures. Your child will learn by watching you hold a book the right way up and seeing how you move through the book by turning the pages and even recognising letters and words. Reading stories with children has benefits for grown-ups too. The special time you spend reading together promotes bonding and helps to build your relationship. 
 
Things you can do at home: 
 
1. Characters and voices 
In stories which have a lot of characters you could read the dialogue in different voices, or even with funny voices and nonsense words! 
 
2. Make a routine 
Try and share at least one book at day. Why not create a ‘reading chair’ where you can both snuggle up and read your favourite book? Let your toddler choose the books when they are old enough to start asking – and be prepared to read favourite books over and over again! 
 
3. Make a picture 
Drawing pictures from the stories is always a fun idea, pick a character or a scene from the story and see your child’s imagination run wild! 
 
4. Role-play/acting out 
Dress up as some of the characters in the story! Act out a scene or just improvise what your character would be like. Use props around the house, you could even use face paint! 
 
5. Turn off the TV or radio 
Find a quiet place to read. It’s important your child can hear your voice. Hold your child close or on your knee so they can see your face and the book. 
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