“Tell me a story.” How many times have you heard that as a mom? It’s the inevitable stall tactic when putting your kids to bed. The history of storytelling is as old as time crosses all cultures, and is a wonderful way to preserve the past, entertain, and connect with people over common human experiences. Even bedtime stories have an origin story, dating back to the late 1800s when author Louise Chandler Moulton coined the phrase and popularized the practice.
I am a huge fan of the medium and have participated in storytelling events myself. So I was happy to discover that World Storytelling Day is March 20. Here are many ways you can enjoy it as a family.
Below is a list of fun and unique places around Atlanta that offer storytimes for children.
- The Wren’s Nest
- The Children’s Museum
- Little Shop of Stories
- The Avenue West Cobb
- Atlanta Botanical Gardens
- Kuumba Storytellers
- Library Systems – most library systems in Atlanta offer storytelling with other activities:
Bonus: If you are interested in Storytelling festivals, check out The Southern Order of Storytellers.
There are a wealth of podcasts that offer stories of varying themes for all ages. Here are just a few:
- Lights Out! Stories For Girls & Boys
- By Kids, For Kids Storytime
- Stories Podcast A Bedtime Show For Kids Of All Ages
- Story Time
- The Magical Podcast of Story Telling
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
- The Purple Rocket
- Bonus: This classic TV show often has live events: Reading Rainbow Live
Tell your own story
It’s time to turn the tables! Here are some writing prompts and activities to inspire the storyteller in your child:
Story cubes – I found these in the dollar bins at Target. Just roll the dice, and use the pictures to create a tall tale.
Family history – Pull out old photos, spread them out, and share interesting stories about your family’s past.
Basket of toys or figurines – Pile up some playthings around the house, and invite your child to make up an adventurous visual story.
One Sentence Story – Someone creates an opening line, such as, “The farmer’s cow walked into the barn and started singing, and then…” and each person takes a turn adding a sentence to the story.
Bonus: Check out this screen-less product called Storypod, which uses characters to tell stories, has read-along books, and even a timer to play “one last story” to your child as they fall asleep.
Where are your favorite places to experience storytelling? Please comment below!