The Power of Storytelling: Developing Literacy Skills in Preschoolers 

Little Stars - The Power of Storytelling

The importance of storytelling to children cannot be understated. In addition to providing an excellent opportunity to bond with your child, storytelling plays an important role in language and cognitive development- especially for preschoolers. They are a powerful tool for teaching children about the world around them.

When children hear stories, it helps them learn about important values as they are introduced to new ideas and exercise their creative thinking.

Storytelling develops all aspects of listening in children; and is an effective way to increase their vocabulary, grammar, and understanding of sentence and story structure. This is important as it teaches children to use grammatical cues to predict the words in the text and will be helpful when they learn to read.

Another benefit of storytelling is that it powers the imagination. Without illustrations and other visual aids, children must visualise characters and settings for themselves. Listening to stories also encourages our little listeners to ask themselves questions such as. “Who did it?” As these questions start to play in their minds, they try to figure out the answer for themselves. These experiences introduce critical thinking skills like predicting and speculating, which spark children’s curiosity.

Frequent early reading experiences also instil a love of reading in our children, which is beneficial towards future learning. Storytelling brings language to life, and creates an immersive experience for children, even more so when props, music and role-play are involved. This draws our eager little listeners in, which in turn gets them asking for more stories.

As children get older, they start creating, telling, acting out or illustrating their own stories. This brings about greater self-confidence as a reader, a positive attitude towards reading, which is linked to reading and writing achievement, and a better understanding of other cultures.

Throughout history, storytelling has been a way for people to pass down their culture and traditions. A great example of this are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories where children learn about their local history and culture. It is also a means of introducing meaningful vocabulary, such as place names. Storytelling can help children develop a sense of identity and a connection to Australian people and land.

The benefits of storytelling in early childhood are many and well-established. We all learn, grow and thrive on stories.

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