We all remember great stories from our childhood or our parents' childhood. Remember the time your dad made a mess in the kitchen? How about how our grandparents came to this country, or when everyone came to watch you in the school play?
These stories are perfect to share with your little ones. It provides them with a sense of belonging―a connection to family and the world around them. Research has shown that family storytelling helps children develop a better understanding of people's emotions and supports the development of social intelligence. Children who feel connected often have higher self-esteem and stronger self-awareness.
How can you start the family storytelling tradition in your home? Try these 5 fun family games over the holidays when everyone is together.
1. Draw Names
Put your names in a hat. As each family member takes turns drawing a name, he or she will tell a funny or interesting story about the person whose name was drawn.
2. Picture Perfect
Get out the old family photo albums, or look at the camera roll on your smartphone. Talk about the pictures, what the event was, and tell the story behind the image. Don't let the photos sit in a box or in the Cloud. Share them and talk about them.
3. Family Reporter
Ask your child to help you be the family reporter. He or she should put together a simple list of three or four questions and record each family member's answers. This will be a starting point for a lot more stories as well.
4. Guess Who?
Have each family member write down one incredible, silly, or interesting fact about himself or herself. Then, each person takes turns reading a random fact while the others have to guess whose story it is.
5. Ad Lib
Create a new story together as a family. One person starts the story, and then go around the room, person by person, asking everyone to contribute the next line. The story can be as strange and silly as you want it to be. The main point is to have fun and enjoy talking together.
The holidays provide a wonderful opportunity to come together as a family and share your culture, traditions, and history. Make storytelling a part of these festivities, and when your children are grown, they will have these wonderful memories and stories to share with their own children.
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