Once winter arrives in December and cold winds start to breathe the landscape to sleep for a season, little ones will be less inclined to venture outdoors. Parents, too, will no doubt appreciate them avoiding the rain, cold, and inclement conditions that may occur. As such, winter is the perfect time to transform dreary days and dark evenings into a haven of warmth and cosiness indoors. An enchanting children’s activity that goes hand-in-hand with this is that of storytelling. With that in mind, today’s post guides you through the delightful process of creating a Winter Storytelling Corner tailored for the youngest members of the family. A storytelling corner is a wonderful way to make these winter nights cosy, magical, and filled with high-quality shared moments. Shared reading time is also highly beneficial to children‘s overall learning and development.
Setting Up a Winter Storytelling Corner
Start by selecting a cosy corner or nook in your home – for example, a secluded and quiet space somewhere that’s away from busy activity, cold draughts and suchlike. It will need to have somewhere comfortable for you and your child(ren) to sit or ‘nest’ once you get to the storytelling part. Once you’ve found somewhere suitable, it could be adorned with soft blankets, plush cushions, and perhaps even a few twinkling fairy lights. The goal is to create an inviting spot that beckons little ones and you, their parent or caregiver, to snuggle up and feel the warmth together as the winter tales unfold.
You could even go so far as to enhance the ambience with winter-themed decorations that will further engage your little one(s) and attract them to this magical new space — so long as they’re safe, of course. For example, perhaps get creative together by making paper snowflakes to dangle from the ceiling or gather images of snowmen and friendly animals to adorn the walls. If you have any stuffed animals or winter-themed ornaments from Christmastime, these will also add to the winter theme. This approach not only adds a personal and engaging touch but also makes the storytelling corner visually appealing and inviting.
A Winter’s Tale or Two
Curate a collection of timeless winter stories that capture the spirit of the season. Consider classics like “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs or “The Mitten” by Jan Brett. These stories, with their simple yet captivating narratives, are perfect for engaging young minds and sparking their imagination. These are just a couple of examples, though, and there are lots of winter-themed books to choose from, whether online, in book stores, in charity shops, or swapped amongst family or friends.
For the tinier tots, perhaps introduce interactive board books with textures to touch and flaps to lift. Titles like “That’s Not My Snowman” or “Baby’s First Winter” provide a sensory experience and keep the youngest listeners engaged.
Storytelling Techniques to Engage Your Little One
Books and stories can be brought to life through expressive storytelling. When you’re reading to your little one, try varying your tone and using different voices for characters. Don’t be afraid to add a sprinkle of theatrical flair by fully ‘committing’ to your characterisation — just like an actor might do. Children will love this — little ones are totally captivated by animated storytellers who make the tales come alive.
Creatively Extending Stories
You can even enhance the storytelling experience in a number of ways.
Perhaps incorporate simple props that relate to the story. If the tale involves animals, have soft toy animals on hand for little ones to interact with as the story unfolds. Other alternatives are hand puppets and finger puppets. Try using them to act out characters from the stories as you read them, or get your child to do so. Adding an interactive and visual element in this way will encourage children to participate actively and immerse themselves in the storytelling process. This approach can be creative, captivating, and sometimes even comical. As such, this is very entertaining for children and will help to make the whole activity enjoyable and fulfilling.
Another example of extending storytelling time is to encourage children to participate in crafting activities inspired by the tales. For example, after reading about snowmen, engage in a hands-on activity of creating snowmen using cotton balls and craft paper, or simply embark on a themed drawing or painting session. This not only reinforces the story but also provides a creative outlet for little hands together with an extra layer of engagement.
A Magical Antidote to Wintery Weather & Dark Evenings
A Winter Storytelling Corner is more than just a cosy nook; it’s a gateway to shared moments, deeper bonding between adult and child, stimulated imaginations, and the joy and escapism of stories. It opens up whole new worlds to children and, as such, is a magical antidote to some of the colder and more dreary days and dark evenings of winter. So, snuggle up and let the winter tales weave their spells this winter — and make the season a time of warmth and wonder for little ones.
Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green
High-quality Childcare & Early Years Education for Babies & Under-Fives
We also love reading with children at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green. It’s not only fun for them but we know how much reading also enriches children’s lives, supercharging both their education and future prospects. So, we encourage parents to read with children too, when at home. Parental involvement in children’s educations is hugely important, accounting for a massive, positive impact on their success.
Little Acorns Nursery is a ‘good’ childcare provider and supports various childcare funding options, making childcare more affordable for eligible families. To apply for a childcare place, arrange a guided tour, ask a question or for anything else, please get in touch:
Our nursery is also close to Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, and Bolton, so may also suit families in those locations.