Not the one about the fish that got away.
You know, the one that was so big it could have sunk the boat.
Tall tales are essentially stories and storytelling can help people solve problems, deal with stressful situations and increase inner harmony.
That’s why it is so important to encourage this creative use of imagination in children.
TELLING TALL TALES
We all know how important reading is for kids (and adults).
It entertains and educates, helps with our memories and listening skills and can aid us in understanding complex ideas.
Storytelling takes these benefits to a new level, sparking imagination, increasing confidence and creativity, and helping us to solve real-life dramas.
Telling stories is different from reading them because you become totally reliant on your own imagination.
And how we perceive the world around us is affected by our imagination.
What we imagine seeing or hearing in our head can alter our actual perception, according to research by a team from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
Developing the imagination tool means it is easier to create our own reality and find positive outcomes in stressful situations.
Did you read my post How to Create Your Own Happy Ending? In that article, I explained how one of the Goddesses and I came up with a fun way to overcome our sadness. We used creativity and our imagination to do this.
THE BENEFITS OF TELLING TALL TALES
Encouraging storytelling in children enhances their confidence, vocabulary, communication skills, creativity and memory.
Telling stories helps us to understand the complexities of life and to determine our own value sets.
Children’s stories may reveal their current fears and concerns, opening the door for you to help them cope with these.
Many of us have traditional stories we can verbally hand down to our children. These are wonderful because we can share a set of virtues and morals we believe to be important.
However, it is the fun, crazy and fantastic tall tale that really gets the imagination moving and reveals our inner fears and desires, which ultimately helps us to understand ourselves.
Many people, particularly adults, feel daunted when they are asked to tell a story from their own imagination.
It is a skill that can be learned at any time, but by teaching children to do this at an early stage, they reap the benefits all their lives.
I practice what I preach by stretching my imagination and creativity each time I offer fiction on this blog.
While seeking Goddess approval for my children’s stories about George the Gingerbread Man, I explained to one of them how I write stories for others to read.
She immediately asked me for her own storybook.
I gave her a little notebook and special flower pen (you can find the instructions for making these pens here).
Every time she comes to Grandy’s that little Goddess asks for her book and ‘writes’ stories in it.
At the moment, she has only mastered the ability to write her name but she fills the pages with letters and characters and then tells me about the stories she has written.
HOW TO TELL A TALL TALE
She is an amazing storyteller. Long before she had her own writing notebook, I encouraged this creative endeavour with what I call storytime props.
We make a craft item and then create a story to go with it, which often results in the creation of more craft items. Read Easy Steps to Make a Terrific Turtle and her Hatchling. This project was designed to explain, visually, how turtles lay their eggs, but soon morphed into storytelling time which included some fun adventures for the turtle.
I share these projects regularly in my Wacky Workshops craft posts.
As our brains tend to think in pictures, it is often helpful to have a prop to get started with a story.
It doesn’t have to be something you’ve made. It can be a favourite toy or an interesting nature find.
Often, just a picture will do the trick.
A favourite game with one of the Goddesses is to draw a shape on a piece of paper, then get her to add to it. We take turns creating a picture, all the while telling the story of what we are drawing. The story tends to get taller and crazier with every new element to the drawing.
Another great way to encourage storytelling is by using story blocks.
These were originally developed as a creative problem-solving tool for adults but are now a popular gift to buy for children.
You can buy them in small sets of three blocks with pictures on each block that relate to a specific category or in larger sets for more advanced users.
In the meantime, dare yourself to come up with a tall tale. You may surprise yourself and find a treasure trove of wondrous imaginings you never knew lived inside your head.
Happy tale-telling and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.