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5 reasons why sharing stories with our children is of the utmost importance.

This month is National Share-A-Story Month, and at My Primary Tutor we are very passionate about it. The benefits of storytelling for children go way beyond the academic and can set them up for success as adults.

Here are 5 reasons we think that sharing stories is great for children, no matter what their age!

Stories help children to develop their imaginations.

Television and computer games are great, and they have their place, but there is nothing like telling a story to REALLY get a child's imagination going! When listening to a story, children (and adults) create pictures in their mind, and this is great practise for creativity in later life. It's also the reason that book lovers, when they see a film of a book, will usually say that while they enjoyed the film, it was nowhere near as good as the one they made in their head!

Stories allow children to develop empathy.

By reading and sharing stories with others, children develop the ability to put themselves in the shoes of people and to share experiences that they might never otherwise have. Not only is this a great way to develop the imagination, but it also helps them to develop a keen sense of empathy; the ability to imagine how someone else might feel despite having no experience of what they are going through.

Reading boosts children's attention spans.

While we believe that screens can be a valuable part of children's lives, there is no doubt that the more time children spend watching screens, the shorter their attention span grows. Getting lost in a book or a story helps children to develop longer attention spans, which will benefit them for their entire lives.

Reading gives children a much better-developed vocabulary.

When we read the written word, or have it read to us, we come into contact with a form of writing, and a vocabulary that we don't necessarily see in our day-to-day interactions. We also come into contact with different types of language. Authors and storytellers choose their words carefully and for impact, and children who read and enjoy stories develop the ability to do this too. Being able to manipulate words and vocabulary to help you to put yourself forward better is a skill that can benefit your child for a long time to come!

Hearing stories can help your child to become a better person!

When children get involved in stories, they learn from them and are changed by them. There is a reason that we tell them fairy tales generation after generation - Hansel and Gretel teaches us not to go off by ourselves (and that if you see something that looks too good to be true, like a gingerbread house, it probably is!) and Beauty and the Beast tells us not to judge based on appearances alone. The same thing happens with stories that aren't as transparently moralistic as we get older - stories are a great way of learning about the world, where we belong in it, and who we are likely to meet along the way.

This year's National Share-A-Story Month has the theme of Myths, Magic and Mayhem. We'll be sharing a few of our favourite stories on this theme over social media this week, so why not join us in our Facebook Group?
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