Choosing Children’s Stories:
If you are selecting children’s folktales, consider stories with characters having brothers and sisters and close friends so that your young audience can better relate to the relationships that cultivate between significant characters in the story, as well as the conflict those characters will encounter. Children aged ten to early teens tend to enjoy stories of real-life heroes as well as science fiction (Harry Potter). Conversely, stories that appeal to children of all ages are stories that also teach them about a world worth discovering.
Nighty Night: Think Bedtime!
Although there are no hard, fast rules to telling stories at bedtime, a teller should keep his voice calm but still expressive and enthusiastic. A story at bedtime should be enjoyable and peaceful. If reading the story is a teller’s preference, then illustrations contained in the story can serve as a launching pad for creative ideas. Therefore, pictures should be displayed at an appropriate and meaningful pace. Moreover, illustrations, whether they are shown to a child during the story or conveyed through gestures, postures, and the like can enhance his understanding of the story significantly. Consider how a child would find it difficult to comprehend words like refuel, re-assess, and momentum, but would become fully engaged by the illustration—shown, said, or both “Rolling backwards before building up enough strength to move up the hill” in The Little Engine That Could.
A few more recommendations include:
It should be short;
It shouldn’t give kid nightmares;
The story should invite repetition (kids love hearing it over and over)
It should come from a specific genre (short versions of fairytale, myth, fable, etc.)
It should be fun
It should be very well known to the teller (telling, not reading it)
We should want to hear it again, but can’t… It’s time for Nighty Night. 🙂
Now, get some sleep.