Monday, 30 January 2012

Story Telling - The Ancient Entertainment

It is National Storytelling Week every year for the first week of February and round the country there are hundreds of story telling events, competitions classes and gatherings of story tellers swapping tales. The UK’s First Laureate of Story was Taffy Thomas and he said that the best gift you can give to anybody is to give them a story. If you give them chocolates they eat them, if you give them wine they drink it, but if you give them a story they will have it for life and they can swap it for another story, and another. 

I love stories and spent a happy evening in London with a story telling group where we tell a story, either our own or one from other cultures, and give each other feedback. One ghost story was told in the dark, with only the light of a candle in the room. That reminded me of the days when I was small and lived in Kenya.

Every evening an old African watchman would come on duty and would light a small fire to heat his evening meal. In the darkness he would squat beside the fire and I would squat next to him listening to his stories. The sparks from the fire were swallowed up by the night and the old watchman’s face and crouching form were part illuminated by the red glow. When he spoke in Swahili I could understand, but when he became particularly involved in the story he would revert to his tribal language and I could only follow the gestures. He was brilliant at mimicking the actions and sounds of animals.

Do you enjoy cuddling up with your children reading stories, or telling ones of your own? The Story Museum has 1001 stories to listen to and download and is a rich source of free stories from all round the world.

A story game I used to play with our daughter was telling stories from a Story Bag if you go to our FaceBook video channel there are some short videos there with stories, and making a Story Bag. We keep adding videos so please come back and visit again.

The founder of Fairy Tale Children's Furniture, Zandra Johnson is a passionate advocate of imaginative play for children. Studies reveal free time spent playing make-believe helps children develop critical cognitive skills. Fairytale Furniture helps build those skills through imaginative play. Download your free guide to Imaginative Play at FAIRYTALECHILDRENSFURNITURE.CO.UK

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