A Shell Full of Stories

In a African folk tale, “Where Stories Come From” (part of the Kindermusik Tell Me A Tale summer camp),  a mother searches for stories for her children.  Finally, she finds the spirit people, who give the mother a SHELL with which she can just LISTEN for new stories.  Honestly, I have found such a shell. 

If you have a smart phone that runs applications, look for “Tales2Go”.  There are THOUSANDS of recorded stories available for children of all ages, with absolutely FANTASTIC story tellers that really make the stories come alive.  You can look for stories all different ways: by age group, story type, series of books, storytellers, or search for specific topics. 

There are very simple short stories for the youngest listeners; classics like The Three Billy Goats Gruff at 5 min.   AND there are more complex and longer stories for the older children (How to Train Your Dragon is 4 hrs. 25 min.)  Keep your charger handy, and expect to complete it in intervals.

My daughter LOVES to listen to the series of short stories, for example, the many stories of Clifford, the big red dog, and the African folk tales about Ananzi, the spider.   These would absolutely delight the children from our recent summer camp.  (We had a lot of interesting personal stories about spiders during class, and they would relate so well to this unique character).  Hearing different stories about the same characters is excellent for building neural pathways, as they have the familiar foundation of the characters to relate to, and the new adventures that can occur with those characters to build pathways for new ideas and concepts.

Holding my phone (it’s even white), and listening to these stories is exactly like being given a shell of unlimited stories !!!  There is a free 30 day introductory period, then it is about $25 for the YEAR to hear as many stories as you could even imagine, and new stories are being added all the time.

This is EXCELLENT for long car rides, esp. if you get a good set of headphones for your child.  (Our family doesn’t do videos in the car.) 

But my favorite way to use this “story shell” – as a wake up tool.  My daughter doesn’t do well getting up earlier than her usual time.  During the school year, I started having my phone at the table, ready for her to listen to a new story during breakfast.  She was much happier to get up, dressed, and ready when she knew there was a story waiting for her, esp. if she gets to pick out the story the night before.

OTHER than the Tales2Go application, there really isn’t a SHELL that contains stories.  We must gather them like berries on a vine, and preserve them like jelly, then spread them thoroughly for all to enjoy.  We must hunt for them in books and learn to digest their meanings.  We must create them from our own personal experiences and share them with our family to provide a robust sense of self, and of belonging to an integral family unit. 

EVERY Kindermusik class includes stories !!!  AND they are integrated into many different learning activities, through singing, movement, instrument play, and more.  Listening to stories is a treasure.  Living IN and exploring stories with all of your senses makes learning easy and fun for people of all ages.  Come see for yourself and try out a Kindermusik class near you.  www.kindermusik.com

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