The Magic of Story Time Is story time fun and magical? Do you get excited at story time? Do the children flock to group time when they know it’s time for a story? Do children ask for story time throughout the day? If the answer to one or more of these reflective questions is “no”, then read on. Here are some tips to bring some magic back to story time! Choose stories that YOU like. These can be tales that you tell and love, or stories from books that make your heart sing. If you like the story, chances are the children will be carried away with your enthusiasm! Try to TELL stories sometimes, rather than READ stories. Create stories yourself and add your own touches to meet the needs and interests of the children. You will be helping to develop their creative thinking as well as their ability to create images in their minds. If reading from a book, position yourself so both you and the children are comfortable. Make sure everyone can see. Perhaps sit the children in a semi-circle and seat yourself slightly above so that everyone can see. Be careful how you hold and position the book. Sometimes children can’t see because the book is angled back towards the reader, or there’s glare on the pages which impacts on visibility. Add MAGIC to story time! Dress up as the storyteller to add fun, interest and enthusiasm. Visit op shops to buy fun clothes or accessories. Decorate clothes with sequins, jewels, and sparkly bits and pieces. A shiny or sparkly piece of material can become a cape, shawl, or cloak. Experiment and have FUN! Step out of that teacher role and become dramatic and magical! You are the storyteller. Bring the story to life with facial expressions, vocal expression, body movements and PROPS! Create a “Story Box” which has the book (if reading rather than telling a story). Decorate the box in any way you like to make it interesting and create a sense of wonder. Have all the props you need ready to go and create a sense of drama as you reveal each prop. Create “Story Baskets”. Story baskets foster language development, recall skills, imagination and creativity. The use of story baskets help children to engage with a story using their senses. As well as hearing the tale, they can see the pictures or objects, feel and hold the props, maybe even smell and taste something in the story. Give the characters distinctive voices and personalities. Movement, action, vocal responses, and visual supports increase participation and enjoyment. Use your voice to convey mood and atmosphere to bring the story to life. Use pitch, volume, tone, pace and pauses to create anticipation. Shout, whisper, become excited or sad as the story dictates. FINALLY – share your love of stories and books. Enjoy telling, not just reading, stories, every day. Become a storyteller. How wonderful it will be to hear a child say, “Tell me a story”. The children will love story time and you will have brought magic back to the lives of the children.