The Blessing of Storytelling

Every journey in life is a story, and stories propel our world. Good stories. Bad stories. Tales of victory. Tales of defeat. Whatever the premise, our lives are shaped with stories.

Today, I again had the privilege of sharing with an alert group of minds that require variety in order to keep them impressed. This group is children. I love the challenge of grabbing their attention and drawing them into a story. When something alights their interest, I see it shine in their eyes. It’s magical. Storytelling is a blessing to me because I enjoy watching them. Their happiness brings me happiness.

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Reading a book about the seasons called, “Listen, Listen” during Moms and Tots Story time at the Zeeland Community Center.
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Old MacDonald Sing Along
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Introducing the kids to my friend, Hoppy the Frog

Tiny the Silver Bell

On Tuesday, during the Moms and Tots story time, I shared my original Christmas story called, “Tiny the Silver Bell.” Each time I said the word bell, the children rang the bells I had handed out. It was a blast.

Today, I share the story with you.

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On the night before Christmas
There wasn’t a sound
Except for a jingle
Of Tiny, a little bell

Tiny had fallen from a sleigh
Some time ago
Lost and alone
Wishing for a family and home

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She waited and waited
Tears softly fell
She shivered in the cold
Hoping someone would hear her silver bell

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But then Tiny heard a noise
Coming from up high
It sounded like hundred bells ringing
Then Tiny saw why

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A light appeared
On a big brown sleigh
Inside sat Santa
With a smile on his face

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Strapped to the collars
Of eight reindeer
Were other silver bells
Singing for all to hear

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Santa scooped up Tiny
Into his big glove
She looked into his eyes
And saw such love

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He tied her to Rudolph’s red ribbon
Happy, Alive and Well
This is the Christmas Story
Of Tiny the Silver Bell

 

THE END

Zeeland Community Moms and Tots

Recently, I became the new storyteller for the group “Zeeland Community Moms and Tots,” which meets each month at the Zeeland Community Center. At our first gathering, I shared my own story called Farmer Ben’s Special Hen. The children joined me as we met Anna-Lee the Amazing hen and even learned how to do the chicken dance.

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The group is open to all mothers with children ages 1-4. We start with a story and also have a craft. We meet the first Tuesday of the month in the lower level of the community center (attached to the Howard Miller Library).

Join us on October 6th at 10:00 AM!

 

Books, Storytelling, and Using Imagination

In a world driven by technology, the art of storytelling and reading books can be lost. Imagination is stifled in children and adults when television and iPads replace creative thinking. I am passionate about reigniting the joy of books and story writing. That is why I’m dedicated to teaching my kids the importance of books and using their imaginations, and that is why I was so honored to  speak to my daughter’s preschool class yesterday.

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I presented the art of writing stories to a group of 18 bright-eyed children using storyboards.

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We discussed using our imaginations to dream up fun things like a fire-breathing dragon guarding a castle or a dragon that breathes bubbles and eats chocolate chip cookies.

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And then the kids helped me write a story called Farmer Ben’s Special Hen. As I told the story, I had the children contribute ideas along the way.

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Farmer Ben’s special hen laid many special things like…cars, rainbow candy canes, and lady bugs.

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She even had special talents like singing, doing cartwheels, riding a horse, building a snowman, and chasing dinosaurs.

Since the hen was so special, Farmer Ben decided to give her an extra special name. The kids loved shouting out names! This was the final product: Nina Aiyana John Piper Niber Sophia Carter Benjamin Gloria Bret Cup-paper.

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Farmer Ben entered the special hen into a pet contest, and the kids helped create other special animals that were there! In the end, Farmer Ben’s chicken won First Place.

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Using their imaginations, the children helped write a story and boy was it interesting! I hope my presentation will stick with them and inspire them to create more stories.

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Before there was television, people told stories and read books. That was fine entertainment. It saddens me when I hear that publishing houses are consolidating because they’re struggling to sell enough books to stay afloat. It grieves me when I hear people say, “I don’t like to read.” Is this what we are passing on to our next generation? Ohhh…I surely hope not. Let’s encourage our children and yes, other adults, to read, create, and use our imaginations!