4 ways stories make your kid smarter

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Nal’ibali is the amazing initiative at the forefront of empowering South Africa's kids with a love of reading and storytelling. 

To commemorate National Literacy month , Nal’ibali launched their annually held writing contest, Story Bosso at the beginning of September. 

Parents are encouraged to inspire their young ones to enter the multilingual storytelling contest by submitting family folktales, special stories about heritage passed on throughout generations. 

The winner will walk away with R5000 and additional goodies. 

The Nal’ibali approach sees storytelling as a multifaceted tool, stimulating the development of success-orientated thinking. 

Here are 4 simple ways you can use fairy tales and folklore to help your child become a confident problem-solver and reader. 

1. Help them draw conclusions

The best part of stories is that they allow the reader to create opinions, feelings and predictions for themselves. 

We do this by comparing what is in the story to what we know from real life.

You can help your children use their own intuition by telling stories with them and asking questions.

Say to them, “Thabo seems to be unhappy or angry. Do you think so too? How can you tell?”

2. Create new endings

“What’s going to happen next?” is a great way to help hone your child's predictive skills.

This gives them an opportunity to be both reflective (what has happened in the story so far) and creative (what are the different things that could possibly happen).

This kind of skill is crucial in subjects like science, where understanding and creativity are key!

3. Understand sequencing

There is always a rational sequence to how good stories are told: first the scene is set, then something conflictual happens, then a resolution.

The more stories children read, the more they are able to understand and preempt these sequences.

They begin to grasp a better understanding of cause and effect, and the correlation between seemingly different scenarios.

4. Solve problems

A wide variety of books and stories offer children different ways of thinking about situations and understanding alternative points of view.

This may even inspire them to start writing and thinking creatively on their own.

Constantly ask them what they think of a story, how they would change it, and what they didn’t like about stories they grew bored of.

This gives them the confidence to explore and pick apart other subjects and problems.

Learn more about how to enter the Story Bosso competition by visiting www.nalibali.org or www.nalibali.mobi

Read more:  

What's your child's favourite story? Comment below. 

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