Anyone who has been around young children knows how much they love to hear stories, especially those about when mom and dad were growing up.

So the next time your child or grandchild is getting ready for bed and says “tell me a story,” instead of reaching for a book to read, how about telling a story of your own.

Telling stories is a wonderful opportunity to get closer to a child and offers more than just entertainment.

Listening to a story without seeing pictures helps a child turn ideas into images, and in this high-tech age that we live in, children need all the help they can get in developing imagination.

Experts in the field of children’s book publishing say that when there are no pictures, children use both the right and left sides of their brains to process information, rather than just one side as they do when watching TV or seeing a picture book.

Here are a few tips from professionals on how to become a better storyteller.

Tell about your life, about things that happened when you were a child.

Include stories of what you did wrong and the lessons learned to develop a special bond as your special little one learns you are less than perfect.

Another idea is to use daily events to teach lessons. One storyteller made up story characters that were much like each of her children and told stories about what happened to them.

Storytellers also may share experiences that involve difficult situations and then offer solutions.

Storytelling time also offers adults an opportunity to expand their child’s vocabulary by including new words like “enormous” instead of “big” and “fuschia” instead of “pink.”

Stimulate the little one’s mind by making up stories and then asking, “And what do you think happened next?”

And when you can’t be there to tuck your child in and tell them a story, have one or two stories pre-recorded on video or tape recorder, so they can watch or listen when you’re elsewhere.

The time you spend together will be priceless, that’s a guarantee.

And then when they get all grown up, you both will have these good story telling memories of time well spent together.

 

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And speaking of children, have you noticed children seem to know much more these days. Their little brains seem to soak up everything they hear and see.

A Catholic Elementary School once gave this test in which kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments.

The following statements about the Bible were written by the children and have not been retouched nor corrected. The incorrect spellings also have been left just as the children wrote them.

In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world so he took the Sabbath off.

Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark and the animals came on in pears.

Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic genitals.

Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.

Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.

Moses led the Jews to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.

The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments.

The first commandments was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

The seven commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.

The greatest miricle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. (I loved this one!)

David was a Hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. He fought the finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.

Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager.

When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.

Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.

St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained a man doth not live by sweat alone.

It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels.

The epistles were the wives of the apostles.

One of the oppossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony which is another name for marriage.

Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at pbryant@gazettevirginian.com.​

Paula I. Bryant is the editor of The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at pbryant@gazettevirginian.com.