Tell a Better Story – Storytelling Made Simple

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Storytelling at night? It’s late. You’re so tired you could sleep through an earthquake but you know what’s coming next . . . “Tell me a story,” your child implores. Only you can’t think of a single idea.

Well, fear no more, my tired friends. Here are all the elements you need to spin a mesmerizing story for your adoring fans.

Storytelling for Beginners

Basic story elements: characters, setting, plot (aka. problem and solution)

Make your storytelling interactive (and EASY) by getting your child to think of all these elements.


“Okay, who is going to be the main character(s) in this story?” Get your child started with ideas like their pet, a magical butterfly, or themselves.



“Where does the story take place?”  Ideas might include a forest, the desert, your house, the playground.



“What’s the problem that _{insert character}____ has?” Here are some kid friendly problems, a storm, trying to find something or someone, or a mean person/witch/animal.


Once there was a golden retriever named Princess Poo-Poo . . .

(Yes, potty talk is a crowd pleaser, hate to admit it.)

Work in the problem, figure out how the main character solves the problem and wrap it up.

You are done. Pat yourself on the back. You’re a story teller!

I really like the “Tell Me a Story” cards for helping my kids tell stories.  The beautiful pictures combine to create unique stories, depending on what cards you choose.

tell me a story

Story twists:

  • Mixed-up fairy tales.  Snow White + Three Little Wolves = ??
  • Daddy humor.  My husband invented these two family favorites — Cindersmella and the Three Stink Bugs and Goldisocks and the Seven Piggies.

Do you already tell stories?

What are your best storytelling tips?


See also: 3 Storytelling Games for Kids, Nature Alphabet Books, How to Help Your Kids with Writing Assignments

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  1. I love to tell stories. I suspect that’s because kids make such a wonderful and uncritical audience!

    My tip is to choose a character that is something your child loves, and give it his name. So, if he loves trains, tell a story about Timmy the Tank Engine. Personalize it as you go with things he does or says. I also choose classic stories eg The Three Pigs, and morph them into The Three Trains.

  2. Great Tips! I always struggle with bedtime stories.

    My old standby is Ava’s birth story. She loves to hear about the day she was born. I try to make it more understandable by “simplifying” things for her :

    “It was Saturday morning and I heard this faint knocking.” (referring to my early labor contractions)

    She thinks it’s hilarious and begs me to tell it over and over again.

    It’s our favorite.