The Day He Told Me A Story!
This is a sponsored post for Colgate's #MagicalStories and was first published on MyCity4Kids.com
What is the one thing most children are experts at?
Telling tales! No, make it telling tall tales!
Ask any child who was the best child in class today, and pat comes the reply I was! No matter what the situation, children love to tell tales. And whats more, in most of their stories, they are the heroes!
These stories may not always be true, but with their stories, children will have you believe, that they are the next Iron Man!
So how does one go about achieving this super active imagination in children? By introducing them to the world of stories in the first place! And like most good habits, you need to start as early as possible.
In my case, I started when my little one was a mere three months old; who would enthusiastically coo to urge me on whenever I sat to read out a story for him! This practice also led to his getting addicted to the bedtime-reading-with-mum routine. And ever since that tender age, he has never been satisfied with whatever was the decided quota of the bedtime stories for the night, always asking for more.
When he started grade-school and was able to read all by himself, I said to him one day, now that you can read all by yourself, dont you think its time you should read a story out to me for a change? He seemed to consider it seriously, and then said nah.
Since then I have realised, that my little one loves being read to, and to read by himself, but he is not much of a story-read-outer or a story-teller himself. This is not to say that he doesnt make up stories, he does mostly heroic tales about himself in school or about his friends. And at his age, these are fairly transparent stories too, that are sometimes a tad bit coloured with exaggeration. However, he has rarely told me stories using props or his toy figurines. Thats left for when he plays by himself.
But last weekend changed all that.
We were grocery shopping, when my little one spied the new Colgate toothpaste that had some characters printed on the inside that could be cut out for children to play with. No prizes for guessing, he obviously, wanted me to buy that toothpaste, especially since it was for cavity protection he said. (You see, we have recently discovered he has a cavity and the filling was done only some days back, so this is something he knows he can use to convince me.)
I bought the pack, of course, but was not very optimistic about the whole playing with cut-outs thing. I figured he will make a big fuss about cutting out the characters, maybe play with them for a while and then they will be forgotten in some corner of his room.
But I was in for a surprise!
The day after I helped him cut out the characters from the Colgate Magical Sea World pack, he came to me and said I want to tell you a story. I was so happy! For someone who always prefers to be read to, this was a welcome change.
And then he brought out all the props and also a sheet of paper on which he had drawn the picture of an ocean with a far-off island. This is the story of the Treasure Hunt in the Amazing Sea World! he said. And then went on to tell me a story using the characters he had cut out on the background of the drawing that he had made.
It was a story about a pirate going on a treasure hunt and encountering all these different creatures on the way till he meets a girl who actually knows the secret of the treasure! Needless to say, I loved the story. More importantly, I loved the way he used all the props to tell me the story. But most importantly, I loved the fact that he was happy to actually tell me a story, all on his own!
Stories help children find comfort, even if it is in an imaginary world. Stories also teach them to think beyond the normally accepted boundaries. Thats why the cars in their stories can fly and the planes in their stories can talk! This out-of-the-box thinking is essential to be developed at this tender age, just so they can think of beyond-the-ordinary innovative solutions to problems when they grow up.It was a very pleasant experience for both of us and I was really glad I picked up the toothpaste that day! Because this letting loose of childrens imagination, believe me, is a very good thing. Growing up is not easy for little children. And in their world, where they are always learning and are forced to try harder, do better and follow the set examples by adults, stories give them the much needed confidence and let them think they matter too that they are important too!
And that is why this story, that my little one made-up, entirely by himself, is very special to me!
P.S. The cut-outs have not been cast away, forgotten in a corner of his room as I had feared; but for once they have been included in his toy figurines!