The importance of storytelling

February 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Help spark your child's imagination by making up stories with them


1. A beautiful new version of Sleeping Beauty illustrated by K.Y. Craft and retold by Mahlon F.Craft. Buy the book on Amazon

2. The Rainbow Fairy Book (which includes a number of classic fairy tales) edited by Andrew Lang. Buy the book on

3. The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen. Buy the book on Amazon

Five great tips for making up a story with your child!

Have you ever had a hard time making up an original bedtime story to tell your child? Try this, it's simple and it works.

We've created an easy method using the fingers on your hand to inspire the five stages of a good story, from beginning to end. Of course it takes a little imagination, but that's where two heads are better than one; yours and your child's. Let your child help to create all the details of the story. It will build your young author's imagination and confidence.

Here's what to do. Lift up your hand and close the thumb around the fingers. The Story's about to begin!

1. Lift up your Thumb - Name your character. Think Tom Thumb, Goldilocks, Harry, or any name in the world you want. Remember, the story will happen to this character.

2. Then extend your Pointer Finger- The pointer finger points to the journey the character will take. Decide where the character is going and very importantly, why? Usually it's something the character wants or needs. (Think finding a buried treasure, hero's glory, or castles in Spain). You will be amazed by your child's suggestions. Now the adventure begins!

3. The Pointer and Third Finger- Make a "scissors" as the journey is cut off by a problem situation. What is the problem? Does a fire-breathing dragon appear? Did we lose our way in a dark misty forest? Now what do we do?

4. The Ring Finger - The ring finger reminds us that our main character owns a magical ring that gives wise advice about what to do, who to ask, or where to go, to find a solution to solve the problem. Don't give up now, your almost there!

5. The Little Finger- Comes at the end of our story to remind us of the little lesson we have learned from the stories adventure. Ask your child what lesson the character learned by going on his journey.

After you have created the five parts of the story, go back to the beginning and tell it, connecting all the pieces. Your fingers will help you remember!

Bonus Tip: A good way to start is to say to your child, "let's play a game and make up a story together". Kids love to play games!

Example: Let's use a very early version of Little Red Riding Hood.

1. Thumb - Little Red Riding Hood

2. Pointer finger - Went on a journey to Grandma's house

3. Scissor fingers - Her journey was interrupted when she stopped (cut off) to talk to the sly wolf, thus a problem.

4. Ring Finger - The Little Hood she wore, knitted by her mother, was magical, and burned the wolf when he tried to touch her, problem solved.

5. Little Finger - Listen to your mother and don't talk to strangers along the way.

Web site:


Boot Up Your Child's Imagination!

Kids may love to play video games and watch movies, but what's happening to their own creative powers? Listening to the rich language of stories from an early age sparks a child's imagination and upgrades their creative visualization. With The Story Home's specially selected audio stories, children will again access their creative realms.

Download Some Quality Time

Parents lead busy, time-crunched lives, but want to spend authentic quality time with their kids. Whether you are running errands around town with your children in the back seat, or trying to keep your eyes open long enough to tell a bedtime story, we can help! At you can download free children's audio stories so that car trips and bedtime, become together times.

Mom, Dad is the world going to be OK?

Listening to the challenging news these days; like adults, children are often affected by the headlines and feel the uneasy atmosphere around them. That's where stories come in handy. Stories, like those at The Story Home, allow children to explore the world of their imaginations, taking their minds off every day problems and stresses, creating a world that is safe and full of adventure. The world may have a lot of problems, but The Story Home is there for children to forget their problems and create valuable down time to share with their families or to just fall asleep peacefully.

iPhone to go!

The newest technology meets the ancient art of storytelling. Imagine waiting at a doctor's office or perhaps a long checkout line, and your child is bored with nothing to do. Wouldn't it be great if you could just download an audio story on your phone to allow your child be entertained right there, on the spot? It's now possible and it's easy. And the best part is; it's time well spent for a growing imagination -- and a life saver for you!

About Alan Michael Scofield:
Arts educator, storyteller, nationally known master teacher of dance and founding director of Young Imaginations, an arts education agency. Co-creator and voice of The Story Home , Alan has been called the "Danny Kaye of the North Bay" because of his magical connection with children through music, stories and dance. Twenty two years ago he co-founded Young Imaginations (, Northern California's acclaimed arts-education agency, and also joined the Dance faculty of the College of Marin. As an arts educator, he has touched the lives of a generation of public school children for twenty five years and is now sharing his method of teaching and his innovative curriculum with arts educators and classroom teachers. In 1994, Alan Scofield was invited to St. Marks School to be a storyteller, as part of their "Roots and Wings" program, an ongoing series in which character education is promoted through presentations by community leaders. Each year he has created and presented a story which portrays timeless values for young people. As his storytelling legacy grew in the community, he employed stories from history and life in his residencies, such as Young Imaginations "Dance Through The Decades" program, in association with the Kiddo Foundation . Notable, is Scofield's dance program for kindergarteners, taught primarily in rhyming couplets and storytelling narratives. Corporations such as Kaiser Permanente, Mervyn's, Hallmark, and the California Automobile Association have sought Alan's expertise to provide creative motivation for teams and leaders. "Alan's way of teaching creativity, imagination and flexibility keeps us on the cutting edge of the field." Scofield states: "I have seen the power of a story transform a room a thousand times. The true teacher is a storyteller, and a good story teaches."

About Sharon Rogan Scofield:
Co-creator of The Story Home, Sharon is a master of many talents, artistic as well as business. Her love of the arts has fed her creative side since she was a child. Growing up she studied classical piano and viola. In college she studied voice and continued with private voice lessons. She continues to write, sing and produce music for Alan's dances as well as producing The Story Home stories for the website. She is an instructor with Young Imaginations, teaching school children music and dance, in addition to being a substitute teacher in the Marin county school district. In her not so spare time, Sharon also enjoys keeping in shape attending modern and jazz dance classes and performing with the College of Marin Dance Company. Her other talents include riding and training horses, cooking, designing wedding gowns and creating costumes for dancers. Sharon also wears a business hat. She has a B.S. degree in business marketing and has worked in the corporate world as an account executive for a leading book publisher. With her knowledge of business and the arts, she found a way for all children to hear Alan's wonderful stories, and so, the "The Story Home" was created.