The power of a story told by heart is like nothing else for adults and children alike. When I hear someone tell something of their day who is a true story teller I can remember that story for many years to come. I can imagine exactly what is happening and sometimes feel like I am right there living out their tale with them. During my time at Pine Forest Elementary, a charter school following a Waldorf philosophy, I truly learned the importance of storytelling to children. I may not be a professional story teller but let me tell you my little boy is definitely dreaming about beanstalks growing up through the clouds this moment.
His memory for what happened in the previous day’s portion of a particular tale and his ability to retell a story surprises me. Many two year olds I know have uncanny memories but some of his I believe perhaps I can attribute to the countless hours spent in our papasan telling fairy tales fables. Besides it’s fun for all really.
The beauty of telling a story from memory is that you can alter it to become age appropriate. Also, when telling Miles a story I make sure to include lots of words that he uses all the time so that he can talk about them with me later. I will say all kinds of words he has never heard of as well and I can bet he will pick up on quite a few of those too.
To me there is nothing like seeing Miles beginning to use his imagination. Tucking in little objects he claims to be babies (and nursing them too:), cooking supper, and going to see Pop-Pop are as serious to him as the real things are to us. They are essential. And it is just plain sweet.