Children love to hear bedtime stories and grandparents make ideal storytellers. They have a rich history to pass down to their descendants and children are entranced by the vivid characters that come to life in these memorable stories. Children are often intrigued by the differences in the style of living from one generation to the next when grandparents spin yarns from memories of yesteryear. Grandparents are naturally adept at describing their childhood memories and bringing old events to life again. Stories are one of the oldest ways to preserve a family’s history. We all have stories to tell. They may be happy, funny, sad or scary but they all allow the past to live once more. Stories bring smiles to our faces or tears to our eyes, and they help us to know those who lived before us that we would never have known existed if it weren’t for stories.
I remember listening to my mother tell stories of her childhood. I would sit there completely immersed as she described the escapades of her brothers and sisters. She told tales of the compassion and helpfulness of neighbors, how people bonded together when illness or tragedy struck. Her words painted pictures of a poor but content family who truly appreciated the simple joys of life. From my mother’s stories I was able to know the grandfather who passed away before I was born, the grandmother that died when I was a very young child and many other relatives who would have otherwise just remained ghosts of the past. Stories are part of a child’s legacy. When you’re looking for an activity to entertain your children, share a story with them. Children love bedtime stories and soon become accustomed to hearing one each night before going to sleep. Story time doesn’t have to be limited to bedtime and you don’t have to have an unlimited supply since most children love to hear the same stories over and over again.
Children also enjoy hearing stories about their own parents when they were children. Birthday and holiday memories make great tales. Kids are always interested in hearing about events such as their own birth, Mom’s first dance or Dad’s first day of school. If you’ve kept old photo albums which most of us do, you can let the grandkids see what Mom or Dad, yourself and other relatives looked like as a baby and throughout childhood. When you think you’ve ran out of childhood stories, don’t forget to read them your old favorites such as Cinderella and Winnie the Pooh. Children never tire of these classics that eternally captivate and fuel the imagination of generations of young ones. Your grandchildren will giggle over the same delightful and memorable poems and nursery rhymes you taught your own children.
I enjoyed having my favorite fairytales read to me, then reading them to my kids and now reading them to my grandchildren. Reading bedtime stories is a tradition that delights families year after year. Telling stories that we adapt from our memories is a way to preserve our personal heritage. Not only can we enrich the lives of our children and grandchildren by handing down our stories we can also help our children to learn and develop their reading skills. Studies show that children who are read to at a young age or even while in the womb, develop reading and comprehension skills at an earlier age and faster level. So read to your children and keep telling those bedtime stories. By doing so, you share and learn together.