Storytelling helps preschoolers learn new words and get ready to become readers and writers. To further this learning at home, invite your child to tell stories to you and other family members. Here are some suggestions:

 
  
Share what happened while on an errand. Any daily event can become a story, if a child wants to tell it. A trip to the supermarket can become a quest to find the tortillas. After she tells this story, join in by becoming one of the characters. The tortillas are in aisle 10. Do you want corn or flour tortillas today?
 
 
Plan for and describe important events. Meeting new neighbors or going to the dentist can be great topics for a story. After explaining what might happen, invite your child to turn it into a story. Later he can revise the story to include what actually happened. “The dentist put a paper bib around my neck.” A story can help your child know what to expect and recall how brave he was.
 
 
“Publish” the story. Write down your child’s story and offer crayons so she can illustrate it. Email a scanned copy to friends and family. Provide simple props so you can act out the story together. Have a different family member record a video on a smartphone. Send it to other relatives so they can enjoy it too.
 

Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack, Teaching Young Children 8 (3): 22

© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education