How to Tell Awesome Stories to Your Kids

One of the most important skills for parents is teaching their children how to tell a good story. The more stories your child learns, and loves, the better able he or she will be to learn language and imaginative problem solving. Here are some tips on how you can teach your kids how to make great stories with just words.

The “funny stories to tell kids” is a special skill that can be used to entertain children. It is important for parents to teach their kids how to tell stories because it teaches them the importance of storytelling and how much fun it can be.

illustration of dad telling story to excited son in bed.

We’ve read to our children every night before bed since they were little. As I tuck them in, I’ll sometimes offer them a supplementary, unplanned storytelling session after we set the book we’re presently reading aside. I simply make up a tale on the moment and tell it to them. Scout (age 7) still appreciates hearing Dad’s fantastic stories, even if Gus (age 10) has grown out of it.

I didn’t utilize any instructions to write my tales; instead, I relied on my years of reading, comics, television, and movies to figure out what to say and how to (lightly) organize them. 

However, on the advice of an AoM reader, I just purchased How to Tell Stories to Children, a small book co-written by two Waldorf and forest school instructors. I decided to read it in order to improve my paternal storytelling abilities. I was pleasantly delighted to discover that I was already using several tried-and-true techniques for creating tales for children on the go, as well as learning a few new ones.

If you’re a dad (or cool uncle, or even grandfather) trying to connect with your kids via storytelling, I’ve put up a list of tips and tricks that I’ve personally tried and found to be effective.

Become an expert storyteller. Telling Great Stories in a Loop

The finest tales for kids, according to writers Silke Rose West and Joseph Sarosy in their book How to Tell Stories to Children, are arranged in the shape of a loop. The narrative begins in reality, in the world in which your child lives; it then travels into a realm of imagination, where reality and fantasy collide to form a new universe, and a conflict must be resolved; and finally, it returns to reality. 

Since I first began telling tales to my children, I’ve been unconsciously following this pattern.

“Magic Mirror Land” is the title of a series of tales I’ve been telling my daughter Scout over the last several years. I essentially plagiarized Alice’s narrative from Through the Looking Glass and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and turned Scout into the protagonist.

Outside her bedroom door, she walks into the large mirror in the corridor (reality). She walks into a world where everything is strange (fantasy). Her brother is an elf, her parents are a dog and a cat, the sky is pink, and the sun is a lemon, and she is a chicken. Scout confronts a variety of enemies in Magic Mirror Land in order to preserve her Magic Mirror Family. She does, however, always return to her bed before daylight (reality). The actual world, the creative world, and the real world are all intertwined.

I’ve heard similar things before. During the Christmas season, I tell the kids that they have a tunnel leading to the North Pole at the back of their closet. They are scooped up by an elf and put in a warm bed at Santa’s residence before freezing to death. They like drinking hot chocolate, munching cookies, and playing with toys with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They are transported back to their house by sleigh at the conclusion of the narrative. The actual world, the creative world, and the real world are all intertwined.


It isn’t even necessary to have a quirky set-up. If you noticed a squirrel in your backyard earlier, you may write up a tale about its day and the issues it has, such as avoiding bird conflicts, avoiding being hit by a vehicle, gathering enough nuts for the winter, and so on. The narrative concludes with the squirrel returning to your yard to sleep on a tree. The actual world, the creative world, and the real world are all intertwined.

Connect Reality to the World of Imagination by Using a Portal

Use portals to go from the physical world to the realm of the imagination. Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

  • Mirrors
  • Tunnels
  • Caves
  • Whirlpools
  • Closets
  • Forests
  • Greetings and best wishes

Some of those portals are more magical, but the most appealing ones, in my opinion, are objects/structures in your children’s present surroundings. Consider the nooks, chambers, tunnels, and shafts that caught your interest as a child, making you wonder what they housed and where they headed. A narrative by West and Sarosy depicts a metal drainage pipe on the side of the road that transforms into a portal to a world of adventure.

Create a tense situation

Create a conflict that must be resolved after you’ve entered imagination land. An wicked dragon must be defeated; a group of characters must be rescued; and a city must be rescued from a slime flood. It’s possible that the dispute is just a return to reality. In my tales, I’ve utilized that device a few times. 

Create a fight for the characters. I generally tell tales in which the protagonist is on the edge of defeat but, at the last moment, finds out how to beat the villain or solve the issue. It’s a Harry Potter-inspired cliche, but it works. It can make me an excellent storytelling parent if it made J.K. Rowling a millionaire. 

Include some amusing details

Describe the world of imagination in a richly detailed and compellingly whimsical style in the lead-up to the conflict and resolution. Remember, this is a fantasy world, so anything might happen. The sky may be any hue, the seas can be red jello, gravity does not apply, animals can communicate, and automobiles can grow wings and fly. Let your imagination go wild. 

This is the portion that both of my children like the most. They love all of the strange things I come up with and constantly begging for more. They generally want to speak about all the fascinating elements of the imagined world Dad created for them when they bring up the narrative in conversation.

Put an End to the Conflict

The story’s problem must be resolved by the main character. Scout frequently uses abilities or traits she possesses in the real world to defeat evil people in Magic Mirror Land; I’ve seen her use cartwheels to defeat bad men and beams of love to unfreeze her Magic Mirror Family (I think I might have subconsciously been riffing off the Care Bears on that one). 


Return to the Real World

Return to reality after the dispute has been settled. It might be via the original magical portal or another route. In my North Pole tales, for example, the kids get to the North Pole through a tunnel in their closet but return home by sleigh.

Bring the Real World into the Imaginative World

Bringing the world of fantasy into the realm of reality may help to break up the narrative cycle. That might lead to some mischief. Consider the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. What would happen if a cartoon character went on a real-life adventure? When the characters from Magic Mirror Land visit our world in our Magic Mirror Stories, Scout must find out how to hide a talking dog and cat. 

So that’s how I make up tales for my kids on the go. Begin in the world your children are familiar with, then go on to a fantasy realm before returning to the actual world. You’ll become better at it the more you do it. Don’t be scared to make a mistake. Your children seem unconcerned. The fact that their father took the time to tell them a tale before they drifted off to Dreamland is what they’ll remember the most. 



Watch This Video-

“A story is a sequence of events that are presented as a narrative. The events can be real or imagined, and the protagonist of the story is often called the “hero”. Stories can also present an argument in favor of or against some political, social, religious, or economic concept.” Reference: telling a story example.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an interesting way to tell a story?

A: I believe that an important aspect of any story is the way in which its told. There are many methods, time periods, and cultures to choose from when writing a story. The main idea behind these different forms of storytelling is what makes them interesting and noteworthy.

How do I start storytelling to my child?

A: The best way to start is with a simple question. Whats your favorite toy? or Why are you crying? Stories about toys can be expanded into what happened when the child was playing, how old they were and so on.

Related Tags

  • my story when i was a child
  • different ways to tell stories to preschoolers
  • bedtime stories to read online
  • how to teach storytelling techniques
  • bedtime stories to tell