How to Tell Children Stories that Draw them In

Raising kids is not always easy.

But if there’s one thing I know about kids it’s that they love stories.

One afternoon with a car full of kids we are on our way to some family activity. My kids had invited some friends to come along. It looked like a scene out of Cheaper by the Dozen.

So like the proverbial bus driver who loses his patience and in the absence of a pool to drop them off at, I was looking for a way to entertain these kids. Then it dawned on me… I could tell him the story.

I was curious to see if these out-of-control children would be interested in the story. I even thought they might be too old to get any enjoyment out of it whatsoever. So I asked them, hey kids, have you ever heard the story of jack in the rainbow?

Using the story skills that I had gained from Jack in the beanstalk, I thought I could turn this caravan from “you know where” around. So I began…

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack. One day, early in the morning, Jack peered through his window. He was surprised to find a glowing end of a rainbow. This rainbow was no ordinary rainbow however. Jack noticed a golden staircase that seem to be embedded in the rainbow between the beautiful colors that he had never experienced so vividly before.

So, not wanting to wake anyone in the house, he called out through his window. And he began his ascent up the rainbows golden staircase. He had always heard that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, however, today he realized there was no pot of gold. Only a set of golden staircase he climbed…one step at a time, each step moved him up higher off the ground.

Soon, he could look out and see his whole village beneath them. Unlike most days, he noticed that the Baker hadn’t started his work for the day yet. Wow he thought. It must still be very early. So, he climbed and climbed until he was at the pinnacle of the rainbow top. You can see for miles and miles in each direction, he thought. He wondered how far it really was from here to way over there (as far as he could see). He could see the hills off in the distance and he knew that he could see for nearly 100 miles for sure. He’d bet his life on it.

He sat Indian style on top of this rainbow for what seemed like hours until he noticed a giant bird. This was no ordinary bird however. It was the biggest bird he’d ever seen. The wingspan was enormous and it could sore like an eagle. As it got closer he realized that it had the face of a man.

I won’t encumber you with the rest of the story, however, all of the kids settled down. They we’re listening to every word that came out of my mouth. I could see it in their faces. They were mesmerized. The rowdiness had ceased, and the kids were committed to hearing every last word.

I realized in that moment, we are hardwired for story. We love great stories. And it doesn’t matter how old we are, story is an effective way to entertain our kids.

I hope you find the stories you find on this website wonderful and entertaining.

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