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Storytelling from the Heart

Sarah Baldwin, Waldorf educator and owner of Bella Luna Toys, explains the importance of storytelling for children and gives parents ideas on how to make up their own stories, and tell stories “by heart” in this “Sunday with Sarah video.”

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi, I’m Sarah Baldwin. I’m a Waldorf teacher, an author, the mother of two Waldorf graduates. I’m the owner of Bella Luna Toys, and I’m also a storyteller.

And guess what. So are you!

Today on “Sunday With Sarah” I’m going to talk to you about storytelling and why I think it’s so important to TELL children stories–from memory or from the heart, or stories that you make up–as opposed to just reading them from a book.

Now books are great. We sell a lot of picture books and chapter books at Bella Luna Toys. I don’t want to discourage you from ever reading to your child or encouraging your child to read, but when we can take the time to TELL a child a story–eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart–there is no greater gift. Children love it!

Now you may think “I’m not creative, I don’t have any ideas. How do I possibly make up a story?” Well, it’s not that hard, and the more you start exercising that storytelling muscle, the easier it becomes.

The easiest way to get started, I think, is to just start telling your child stories of when you were a little girl or you were a little boy. Children LOVE to hear stories about their parents when they were little, and remembering the adventures they had or the trouble they got into!

You can also tell a story reviewing the child’s day. Now, reviewing the day before sleep, in bed, is a wonderful, relaxing way for children to let go of the day and drift off to sleep.

And you can disguise the child. You can change his or her name, or it could be a story about “Squirrel Nutkin” or another little animal, but then use the events that child’s day to help them review the day and soon they’ll begin to recognize themselves in the story. “Oh, that’s what I did today!” and they’ll get really excited to hear a story about themselves.

For instance: “Squirrel Nutkin woke up early one morning and his mother had made him a bowl of oatmeal. And after they ate their oatmeal, they washed the dishes together and took a walk to the park…” and so on, reviewing what the child had to eat that day, who they saw, what activities they did.

So, if you need more ideas, one of my favorite books, and we offer it at Bella Luna Toys, is called Storytelling with Children, written by Nancy Mellon. Nancy is a master storyteller who has taught teachers and given workshops, and it’s full of great ideas.

And stories don’t have to just be told. They can also be told as a puppet play with little figures. Nancy gives lots of ideas in this wonderful book.

So I really encourage you to start, if you don’t already, making up stories. You can also memorize a story, like a fairy tale, and try telling it by heart. I like saying “telling it by heart” rather that “memorizing.” It just is warmer.

A fairy tale you know well, like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” or “Little Red Riding Hood.” You know what happens in the story! Tell it in your own words and when your child makes that eye contact with you and has that heart-to-heart connection, they will just warm right up, and you’ll enjoy it, too.

So, leave a comment! Let me know if storytelling something you do regularly. If not, and you decide to give it a try, let me know how it goes. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy storytelling! See you next time.

sarah-signature-blue-125x64

 

 

 

Book referenced in video: Storytelling with Children by Nancy Mellon

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Waldorf Wooden Rocker Curvy Board
bella luna toys, Giveaway, Play

Waldorf Rocker Board Giveaway

 

Waldorf Rocker Board - Curvy Board - Balance Board

GIVEAWAY!

If you watched last week’s video on my top five favorite Waldorf toys, or read my blog post “In Praise of Rocker Boards,” then you know why I love this open-ended toy and recommend it so highly.

Not only do rocker boards invite imaginative and active play, but they also help develop a child’s sense of balance (which aids brain development) and strengthen core muscles.

Our rocker boards are made in the U.S.A. by a young Waldorf family in California who were inspired to create the “Curvy Board” after seeing rocker boards in use in their children’s kindergarten classroom.

Rocker Boards can be used indoors or out.

Each Curvy Board is handcrafted in the U.S.A. from nine layers of poplar plywood. The corners have been rounded for safety, the wood sanded smooth, and each has been finished with child-safe varnish for durability.

Click here to watch Mama Natural’s video review of our rocker boards and watch one in action!

For our end-of-summer giveaway, Bella Luna Toys is pleased to offer the following gift to ONE winner:

* * * One Curvy Board Waldorf Rocker Board * * *

This prize ($139.95 value) includes free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States. The giveaway is open to open to all readers, but a winner outside the continental U.S. will be responsible for the cost of shipping.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know what you like best about this toy. Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. PDT on August 31.

And the winner is:

I am delighted to announce the winner of a Curvy Board – Waldorf rocker board, chosen through a Random Number Generator.

Congratulations to Kim Corrigan-Oliver who commented:

“Thanks for the chance, my little man would love this!”

Many thanks to all of you who entered and for your words of enthusiasm for one of my favorite toys!

 

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Giveaway

Waldorf Wooden Doll House Giveaway

I am delighted to announce Bella Luna Toys biggest giveaway ever!

Hurry on over to Amanda Soule’s beautiful blog, SouleMama, and leave a comment there to be entered to win this gorgeous large Waldorf Wooden Dollhouse ($300 value) from our Canadian partner, Twig Studio.

Twig Studio Wooden Dollhouse

Bella Luna Toys is proud to be the exclusive online retailer in the U.S. to carry these beautiful and unique handmade wooden dollhouses!

This giveaway is open for one day only. Comments will close at SouleMama on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. EDT.

GOOD LUCK!

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