Storytelling with Kids

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by children’s author Tina McFadden.

According to my mother, as a toddler, I would sit down, open up a book and start babbling to myself. When I had finished “reading” a page, I would flip the page and continue. It didn’t matter if the book was turned upside down – I was making up the whole thing!

My mother never stopped me or tried to correct me, and I’m glad she didn’t. Those early babblings were possibly the stirrings of story ideas – ideas that would continue to flow throughout my childhood.

I started writing stories as soon as I learned to print. By age nine, I had written a whole series of mystery novels.

I loved to write because when I wrote, I was creating. As a youngster, writing took me to the land of imagination where anything is possible. And now as a fully grown children’s author, it still does.

Storytelling with Kids

Engaging young people in story-telling is a wonderful way to inspire their imaginations. Here are a few suggestions to engage children in this activity:

  1. Read a short story, or a chapter in a book, and stop for discussion. You could ask the following questions: What did you like best about the story/chapter? Who was your favorite character, and why? Does this character remind you of someone else. How so? Why did a character make this decision in the story, and is it the decision you would have made? Why or why not?
  2. Write a short story together. As the parent, you write the first paragraph, and then allow the child to write the next. Be open-minded – the story could go in countless directions – that’s the beauty of imagination and story-telling!
  3. Read a few pages of a short story, or one chapter in a novel, and then ask your child to anticipate where the story is going. You could ask the following questions: What will happen next? What makes you think that? Where would you like to see the story go?

Tina McFadden is the author of Elffolk and the Crystal Caves of Atlantis, a newTina Book Photo _Small fantasy-adventure novel for children ages 7 to 10. The book is an easy, fast-paced read with a positive, empowering message. It tells the story of two young elves, Enna and Nissa, in the mysterious crystal caves of legendary Atlantis.

For more about Elffolk and the Crystal Caves of Atlantis, please visit

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