Stories to tell your children


Stories, songs and silliness are amazingly effective resources.  These “parenting resources” are free, and  they have been around for as long as people have.  Parents can use stories to shift everyone’s mood into a better place, to help children (and often parents) understand a difficult situation, and of course to send children off to sleep on a sea of imagination.

You might be surprised to find how much your children love hearing funny or simple stories about your growing up years.  Trips to your grandparents or cousins, your first water slide, or a story your parent used to tell you.  You don’t need to stick with the actual events either.  Enjoy a trip down memory lane (saving any not-so-pleasant memories for counselling sessions perhaps!) and share with your kids treasures from your childhood days.  Mingle these with splashes of colour from your own imagination, and hey presto!  A magical story is born.  What childhood adventures or even lovely moments can you remember?  Your children will especially love imagining you as a kid.

Sometimes we don’t have the energy to invent.  Thankfully authors like Susan Perrow can help us out.  Here’s a sample story you can tell:

Obnoxious Octopus

(Extract from my e-book: ‘A Spoonful of Stories: An A – Z Collection of Behaviour Tales for Children’, Susan Perrow © 2013)

Octo Octopus was a continual worry for his ocean friends. He always seemed to be annoying one, or pestering another, or bothering all of them at once. Whatever the friends were doing, wherever the friends were going, Octo’s eight long tentacles would get in the way. One tentacle might be hooked onto Crab’s claw, another one reaching inside Groper’s mouth, another tickling Star Fish’s feet, another dragging clumps of seaweed into their play.

One day the ocean friends decided they had enough of Octo’s annoying ways. As soon as he came close, they all decided to chant at once:

Go away, Octo, go away, we don’t like the way you play,

Go away, Octo, go away, your tentacles are in the way!

But Octo Octopus ignored this chant and kept on following the friends. And Octo’s eight long tentacles continued to get in the way. One tentacle might be wrapped around Crab’s legs, another one pulling on Groper’s tail, another tying Star Fish’s points together, another one stirring up the sand in the middle of the play.

The ocean friends kept chanting:

Go away, Octo, go away, we don’t like the way you play,

 Go away, Octo, go away, your tentacles are in the way!

This time they were making so much noise chanting their chant that they woke up Old Man Turtle. He drifted over to see what was happening, and as he swam closer, he saw Octo’s tentacles busily annoying and pestering all of his friends. Straight away Old Man Turtle could see the cause of the problem. Little Octo hadn’t learnt the true way to use his tentacles. Little Octo hadn’t learnt how to swim like an octopus!

Old Man Turtle quickly gathered a long piece of seaweed from the ocean floor. He put one end in Octo’s strong beak. ‘Take hold of the other end’, he called out to the ocean friends, ‘we are going to pull Octo along’. So Crab, Groper and Star Fish held onto one end of the long weed rope and helped Old Man Turtle to pull. They all pulled as hard as they could. They pulled and they pulled and they pulled.

Octo followed along, his eight tentacles trailing out behind him. But he hadn’t gone far when something amazing happened. He realised that something else was now doing most of the work – the ocean water was going in one part of his body and straight out another – propelling him along at jet like speed. Whoosh went Octo – whoosh whoosh along. Octo realised he could now let go of the weed rope. Soon he had passed all the friends with his jet like way of moving along.

Octo had learnt to swim like an octopus! There was no stopping him …….. along the ocean floor, up to the top of the waves, in and out the rocky reef. Octo couldn’t believe what a wonderful world he could now discover by himself.

From that day onwards Octo’s life changed forever. He could swim like an octopus! He could jet along. He could go wherever he wanted to go. Sometimes he would stop by to visit his friends, and play fun games like hide n’seek, and races, and chasings. What a different kind of player he was … now he knew how to swim!

The ocean friends now loved having Octo come to play. They loved the new games that Octo wanted to share. Soon they were chanting:

Stay, Octo, stay, stay and play all day!

Stay, Octo, stay, we really like the way you play,

Stay, Octo, stay, stay and play all day!