Storytelling tip #19

Keep it short

Do your best to keep the story short. Toddlers aren’t going to listen to a long story. Practice your story – time yourself. Aim for your story to feel short to the listeners. It shouldn’t drag or go on and on…

Storytelling tip #18

Be prepared for Christmas!

Invite your pastor or a staff member from your church to come to toddler group to tell the Christmas Story. It’s an opportunity for them to meet people at the group. And it gives you time to think about the special craft and festive food that you will probably be busy sorting out! Book them early 🙂

Storytelling tip #17

Share the load

If you can, share the telling of Bible stories with others. We can learn from each other. Be supportive of one another and offer encouragement. It’s sometimes really helpful to have an extra pair of hands to hold a storytelling prop; ask for help from others in the team.

Storytelling tip #16

Begin storytime with a song

Instead of announcing storytime with, ‘It’s storytime’, start with a song. It will become your theme song that tells everyone that it’s time for a story. Choose something simple and easy to join in with. Familiar tunes with your own words are great. Once you have your song stick with it. Young children like the familiar.

Storytelling tip #15

Involve others

Ask for help in collecting items for storytelling props and craft resources. Involve people in your church. Explain what you need and give people the opportunity to join in by collecting cardboard tubes, christmas cards etc. Use your churches’ notice sheet to make the needs known and share pictures of the made crafts too.

Storytelling tip #14

Collect craft ideas for your planned Bible stories

Keep your eyes open for craft ideas that fit in with the Bible Stories you are planning to tell. Pinterest is full of ideas that can be used or adapted. There are even some on this blog 🙂 Ideas can come from anywhere! Try out any ideas to see if they really are makeable. Process is important but having a finished product that is a keepsake for parents is good too. Collect things that will come in useful – christmas cards, wrapping paper, leaves, cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, yarn, material, pictues for gardening catalogues. All sorts of lovely crafty stuff!

Storytelling tip #13

Plan your stories for the year

Plan ahead. Look at term dates (use your local school dates) and work out your timetable. Note down any special dates you want to celebrate – Harvest, Christmas, Easter, summer party. Plan your stories for the year ahead. Start with a theme for each half term. Some ideas – Creation, animals in the Bible, people Jesus met. Note down a story (use the Bible reference) for each week. Add a craft idea and some songs. You can always adjust your plan but having an outline for the year relieves a lot of stress .

Storytelling tip #12

Collect together resources that can help you

Go Teach and Scripture Union have some great resources that will help you tell Bible Stories in Toddler Group. Children’s Story Bibles and Bible Story books written for young children can be a big help too. They will give you ideas of how to phrase things and how to put a simple story together. You don’t have to buy loads – just slowly start collecting resources that you find helpful.

Storytelling tip #11

Knit some storytelling characters

Knitted toys are some of the best storytelling props you can have. If you can’t knit find someone who can. Acrylic yarn is inexpensive and comes in lots of colours. You don’t need loads of knitted toys – just a few men and woman with different hair (some grey for older Bible characters) and different clothes. Here’s a link to a great pattern.

Storytelling tip #10

Start a file of your storytelling ideas

Keeping a collection of ideas is great – if you have a few weeks and you don’t know what to do you have ideas to fall back on. Think of themes – homes Jesus visited, stories people told, things God made. Under these headings add specific stories, prop ideas and craft ideas. Keep in a file, notebook or card file holder.