7 Storytelling Hacks - Introducing Kids To Cultural Stories

7 Storytelling Hacks – Introducing Kids To Cultural Stories

 

Indian culture is rich with stories sharing life lessons, morals, traditions and values. From the time immemorial, stories have been a mode of instruction to emphasize values and morals. Not only to children but also to grown-ups. Stories are part of their lives.

In ancient days, stories were mostly told by people. From being written on rocks, stones and some leaves they were carried on by mothers and grandmothers as bedtime stories. Much later they were printed on books. Today stories are made into real with the aid of animations. The conspicuous fascination for stories has still been enthusiastically growing.

The folklore and fables have been an eternal part of every culture since ages. India, a country known for its diverse religions, languages and cultures has a monumental range of tales and short stories. Indian folklore has a wide variety of historical stories and mythological legends, which emerge from all walks of life.

Two epic stories Mahabharata and Ramayana are so popular not only because of their character but also for its abundant source of life lessons and moral values. There are many interesting and famous stories that range from the remarkable Panchatantra Tales to Hitobadesh Stories, from Aesop Fables to, from Grandma Tales of life to Stories of Akbar and Birbal.

Children really enjoy reading and listening to stories. Children are fascinated by stories of animals and birds, kings and queens, fairies and adventures. And Indian stories have all of these in abundance and more.

Kids get involved to a greater extent because their imagination derives from these tales. Each story gets deep rooted in the hearts of children with value.

Children love to dream. The world of fancy and fantasy is the privilege of their childhood. And stories justify these attempts to nurture their imagination and foster moral values. Mostly every story is concluded with an appropriate moral. The stories will not only entertain the children but also inculcate the sublime virtues and worldly wisdom in them.

Panchatantra stories, Jataka Tales, Thenaliraman Tales, Vikram and Vedhal, were my son’s favorites during his childhood. We enjoyed our nights through our bedtime stories.

As a mother, I am often disappointed though nowadays, because of the disappearing love for stories. Also I feel in the digital age there is a dire lack of value based storytelling.

Really story telling is an art and story teller is an artist. When told right, a story has the power to magically inculcate children with not only morals but bring them face to face with their culture and heritage as well.

Some personal tips on developing the skill of it.

Dedicated Reading Time

You can select any convenient time for you and your kids to tell stories. Mostly I prefer night time to share Bedtime Stories. Really the story time will be a bonding time for your family.

Enact The Story

While telling the stories, you act and make music. Parents making funny voices and getting the kids involved in the process makes the stories impact stronger.

Pause At The Right time

Let the kids guess what comes next. Ask them what they would have done in the same situation. This builds thinking power.

Leave Room for Discussion

Stories of long ago or a mythology have concepts hard to understand. Encourage kids to talk, discuss, share and express. Parents should respond, encourage, listen and guide. Parents should respect kid’s feelings and thoughts. Let them ask question and even disagree with what the story says. Don’t stop reading that story to them, though. That teaches them to learn to agree to disagree.

Create

Painting and creating art work after they hear a story will let You see what the children actually thought of the story.

Share Your Memories

Let kids into your life with the history of your family and what you thought when you first heard the story. Discuss with the kids what you thought and ask them what they think of your opinion.

Games And More

For stories of mythology and history which have complicated names, it is a good idea to create games. Give points for guessing the protagonist of a certain story is and what happened. Another amazing way is to have the kids pretend to be they are one of the characters and play a game of dumb charades with them.

Introducing Kids To Stories From Cultures Around The World www.raisingworldchildren.com #storytelling #stories #multicultural #cultures #global #kids #parenting

Story telling is the first and foremost step to introducing kids to any new culture, and specially their own heritage. Be the story teller of your family. And don’t just limit yourself to your own culture. Choose different countries and find what their mythology or history says!

Vasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learned a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. You can find her @mysweetnothings on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home

 

India is famous for its cultural and traditional richness of festivals and celebrations. We, our family love the second half of every year since those six months are full of many festivals. I personally love to celebrate many festivals like Maha Shiva Rathri, Krishna Jeyanthi, Vinayagar Chaturthi because of their vibrant, colorful, foodie and cultural way of celebrations rather than their religions importance.

Festivals really help us to inculcate friendship, cultural importance and moral values in the young minds of our children. Recently we celebrated Sri Krishna Jeyanthi at our home. So I thought of sharing the pooja and celebrations of Sri Krishna Jeyanthi with you to throw some light on our Indian tradition and culture.

 

What Is Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

Krishna Janmashtami or Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jeyanthi is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

 

When Is Sri Krishna Jeyanthi Celebrated?

It is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) during August or September.  

 

 What Are The Other Names For Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

  • Krishna Astami
  • Janmashtami
  • Gokulasthami
  • Sree Jayanti

 

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home?

We invite our friends and relatives for the pooja and festival. Sri Krishna Jeyanthi is a fun filled celebration particularly for kids. So we invite all nearby kids for the festival. Also, we involve our son to be a part of the celebrations by making decorations and arrangements at our home.

 

Beautiful Krishna Sticker

Beautiful Krishna Sticker At Our Drawing Hall

 

We welcome our guests with colorful Kolam or Rangoli. Also we draw small footprints of rice flour from the entrance of our house to our pooja room. This is for welcoming Sri Krishna to our house. Making the footprints using rice flour is for small creatures like ant and insects to eat. We just care more for all living creatures.

 

Kolam or Rangoli

Kolam or Rangoli

 

Krishna's Footprints

Krishna’s Footprints

 

All the idols and photos of gods and goddesses at our pooja room are decorated with flowers, garlands and jewels. And Sri Krishna statue or photo is specially decorated. We offer Sweet Aval or Poha, Seedai, Murrukku, Butter, Butter Milk, Jhangiri, Pal Kova, Betal Leaves, Coconut and Fruits as prasad. Mostly the snacks will be prepared at home with extra flavor of yummy ghee. Krishna is a big lover of butter and ghee. So we believe that he will bless us with all abundance by tasting his favorite snacks.

 

Decorations At Our Pooja Room

Decorations At Our Pooja Room

 

Krishna songs and slogams will be played. The house will be filled with aroma of splendid incense sticks. It adds a divine effect to the celebrations. All family members will assemble and the eldest of the family will do the pooja. And the pooja starts with Aarthi, Songs and ends with yummy snacks.

 

Sri Krishna Jeyanthi - Offerings To Lord Sri Krishna - Raising World Children

Offerings To Lord Sri Krishna

Children will be dressed as Krishna and Radha. The elders will tell the stories of Sri Krishna. They enjoy by singing songs, playing instruments, dancing, reciting mantras, drawing, coloring and playing dramas. We, ladies, myself, my amma and my mother in law will recite Krishna Astakam and sing Sri Krishna Songs.

Also we visit to nearby Krishna Temples. Anna Thanam or Donation of Food will be offered at most of the temples on this auspicious day. We would usually donate some money and rice for this ceremony. Thus festivals will bring us closer, kinder and happier by all means. Also festivals are an easy way to teach spirituality to our kids.

What Mantra To be Chanted On Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

 

We will chant Krishna Maha Mantra. This mantra can be chanted by anyone irrespective of religion, faith, gender and nation.

Krishna Maha Mantra

Image Credit: Pinterest

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Krishna means “the all-attractive one,” and Rama means “the reservoir of pleasure.” Hare invokes His presence in our lives. This Maha (great) Mantra – chanting of His holy names brings innate satisfaction and the highest pleasure to all of us.

Info Source: ISKON, Delhi.

What Is The Significance Of Krishna Maha Mantra?

The sound and vibrations of this maha mantra will bring peace, happiness, cleanse the mind and soul, suppress our sorrows and anxieties.

Do you celebrate any festivals? What are the fun and joy about your festivals? How do you involve your kids on the celebrations? Please share with us …… And stay tuned for our Vinayagar Chaturthi celebrations .

How To celebrate Krishna Jayanti - Raising World children | Krishna Jayanthi | Celebration | Indian Festivals

 

 Vasantha Vivek Raising World ChildrenVasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learned a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. You can find her @mysweetnothings on Facebook and Twitter.

13 Life Lessons Every Kid Can Learn From Mahabharata

Though I was a working mom, I never compromised on time spent with my son during his childhood. I love to spend quality time with him right from his birth. And he’s a big fan of stories. No surprising, since I used to tell stories even when he was in my womb.

The epic saga of Mahabharata has attracted him for many fascinating reasons. He loves the characters, morals, adventures, fiction, knowledge and wisdom shared by the innumerable stories of Mahabharata.

Mahabharata is one of the two Indian epics that narrates the importance of morals and values in life. It is a rich source of ethics and life lessons. In this modern era, Mahabharata is being taught in management classes and leadership training.

My son is just entering into his teens this 2017. And always we find it interesting to discuss and chat about the stories we read, movies we saw and things we heard. Last week, on one such discussions, he shared about the life lessons he learned from Mahabharata in his 13 years. As a mom, I feel really happy about his learning and would love to share with you all.

[bctt tweet=”Found in many Hindu home, Mahabharat is a must read for every new mom to teach kids values. ” username=”contactrwc”]

13 Life Lessons Learned By My Son From Mahabharata

 

Perform your duty

Lord Krishna taught that one should perform his duties as a son, husband, father, student without fail. We used to give my son some work right from the time he was able. He never refused. He enjoys helping in the kitchen and also loves to assist his father in shopping, travelling. In fact, he is our guru (teacher), guiding us with modern gadgets.

Fight for your rights

Pandavas teach that one should know their rights and privileges and one should fight for getting them. My son is aware of the same. Once he asked for a Ben 10 toy which was beyond our budget at that time. Once explained, he understood and waited for nearly three years to get that. By this, he learnt the art of waiting on getting his desire fulfilled though it’s his rights.

Always support good

Krishna’s stories  guide one to support good causes. My son usually takes two or three sheets of paper extra for his exams. One day, I asked him why you always take extra sheets to school. And I was really moved on hearing his reply. He said that he gave those extra sheets for a poor boy in his class. He is always a peace maker !    

My Son's Birthday Celebration

Focus Leads to Success

One famous story of the Mahabharata is about the young Arjuna which teaches that one should keep his focus unaltered to attain success. Earlier my son seemed to be hyperactive. He could not sit and concentrate on one thing for more than five minutes. This made him so naughty at school. This behavior distraction pulled down his grades in exams. Later we taught him some methods and introduced some tools to divert his energy. We bought fidgets, calming glitter jars to calm him and increase his focus. Now he has developed high concentration and is excelling in all his efforts.

Keep Moving

One should perform only his duties and should not worry about its results. He will be rewarded at the right time. My son was interested in joining cricket coaching. But I was not comfortable about this since he was identified that he has weaker spots in his retina. But he would keep on asking me to join the cricket coaching. Later on I made him admitted for the coaching. Now he’s leading his school cricket team for many matches.

Respect Elders and Women

Acharya Drona taught that one should respect elders and women. Always I insist this to my son. He loves to chit chat with his grandmothers and also give respect to women. He know the values of womanhood and he wants to be always supportive. He usually get blessings from his elders on all functions and family celebrations.

Pride Leads to Failure

The story of the Kauravas teach that one should remain gentle and humble in all situations. Pride will always lead to failure. Mostly my son won’t take any success to his head.

Avoid Bad Friends

The great Karna teaches that one should avoid bad company. It will surely lead to misery. I’m happy he has a sound group of friends. All his friends will visit our house for playing PS4 and all of them are our friends too. Still I keep an eye over them since they are at their pre adolescent age.

Play Time

My Son’s Play Time With His Friend

Think Before You Speak

The act of Draupadi taught that one should keep a watch over their words. You can not revoke the spoken words. So you have to think twice before uttering any comments. My son is a good listener  and he is very selective in his choice of words.

Revenge Leads to Disaster 

The story of Draupadi is a great example of this. My son usually forgets and forgives persons irrespective of their behavior. He used to tell me, why God has given us two ears. You have to listen through one ear and you have to let the words that hurt pass through the other ear.

Half Knowledge is Dangerous

The story of Abhimanyu and the Chakravyuh teaches that one should learn anything completely. Half knowledge is always dangerous. He learnt swimming during his summer vacation at South Africa. His master always insisted him to practice every stroke of swimming thoroughly, so that he develops confidence on it. He understands well that half knowledge in anything is not going to help him in anyway. He’s interested to learn many things like Hindi, Karate and Football.

Blind Love Is Disastrous

The lesson of “One should not support their kids blindly” was learnt from the blind love of Dhritarashtra. Parents should teach them the morals and values of life. They should teach them what is correct and what is wrong. Parents should not fail to punish them if they do anything wrong. We have a reward system for my son for limiting his screen time, going to bed on time etc.

Anger is Our enemy

Anger makes us older and smile make us younger. My son never gets angry. If he’s not comfortable about anything, he will just move away. He used to listen to music or used to watch cartoons to calm himself. I have to confess here, that I’m the person who get irritated much in our family. Now I’m learning from my son to be stress free always.

Do you tell stories to your kids? What are your bedtime rituals? What lessons your kids have learnt from Indian Folk Tales? Do share with us and we are all ears ….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

References :

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/
  • http://www.kidsgen.com/
  • http://www.hindukids.org/
  • http://www.indolink.com/Kidz/mythology.html
  • http://raja-thatha-corner.bizhat.com/Stories.html
  • http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-folktales/hitopadesha-tales/

13 Lessons Every Kid Can Learn From Mahabharat www.raisingworldchildren.com #mahabharat #hindumythology #mythology #indianmythology

Vasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learnt a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. She starts & ends her days with reading. She blogs @ “My Sweet Nothings”. She’s also guest authoring in various sites like Indian Moms Connect, Monsoon Breeze, Parentous, Women’s Web, mycity4kids & World of Moms. Featured At:The Times Of Amma, Stories of Motherhood!, Smart Indian Women.
Cultural Storytelling - Its Importance and Impact On Our Kids

Cultural Storytelling – Its Importance and Impact On Our Kids

As we discussed in our previous article 7 Storytelling Hacks – Introducing Kids To Cultural Stories, Indian culture is rich with stories sharing life lessons, morals, traditions and values. Story telling is really an art and a story teller is an artist.

When I was teaching as a professor, I would introduce a new book to my students during my lecture. This will make them curious in reading the book. I would list the name of the book, author, publisher and cost of the book. Mostly I would list only those books I have read. Most of my students really appreciated this.

Still my students thank me for teaching them the toughest subjects like Data Structures, Programming and Operating System in an easier way. This was made possible only by experimenting various pedagogic tools. Among all,  story telling, puzzles, and role play are my favorites.

[bctt tweet=”Story telling is really an art and a story teller is an artist” username=”contactrwc”]

We are dedicate an hour in a week as Reading Hour in our family during Sundays. We three will engage ourselves in reading for that one hour. It’s a family bonding hour and relaxation hour too. And we have a policy of gifting friends and kids with interesting books only.

We are die hard fans of books and stationary items. And we are collecting books for setting up own library in our house. We are proud to share that we have collected nearly 300 books so far. My son is having his own collection of nearly 150 books.

Though Indian culture is rich with stories, story telling is found to be lacking in this modern era. The reasons for this are wide spread. With my personal experience as a mother and as a professor in an engineering college, here i have listed some important reasons for the lack of story telling.

Reasons for Lack of Story Telling

Raising World Children Cultural Stories

Teachers and parents are not able to tell stories in this modern world due to some difficulties as:

  • Limited time to complete the syllabus: In schools and colleges, they have only limited time to complete the prescribed portions. Hence they could not experiment with many pedagogic tools like story telling, role play and all.
  • High stress in working environment: Parents are facing work pressure and high stress beyond their limits. They are being driven by annual targets, performance hikes, societal pressure, and work challenges. So they love to relax in front of TV when they are back home.
  • Lack of time: Moreover, parents also not finding time to read stories and other topics. They have to manage the physical, financial, emotional and critical needs of their family. All these demands time for its execution.
  • Less priority: Parents are not aware of  the benefits of story telling and spending quality time with their kids. They are happily satisfied  by providing them with expensive gifts and hi tech life. They have hope on quantities than the quality. Work is their higher priority.
  • Lack of interest: Social media and digital gadgets are becoming the most important in our life. They are slowly making us to be lazy.  Both parents and kids are not interested in traditional stories, games and discussions.
  • High homework stress to kids: Kids are being forced only to get academic excellence rather than getting real world knowledge. The performance of a kid is measured only by exam marks and not by his interests and talents.
  • Effect of Micro Families: In earlier days, my father and grandfather and all lived in the same house as joint family. And today micro / nuclear family is the trend. The parents are running for their life and the kids are dumped with the maids, or gadgets or  play schools. So nobody is there to tell them the fascinating stories.

Advantages to Cultural Storytelling 

While it is totally understandable that life gets in the way of creating a magical land fueld by imagination, the impact is tremendous. Science says that story telling has numerous benefits.

Moral values Get Rooted Deeply

Through stories and plays, it’s very easy to inculcate the moral values and positive things in the minds of kids. They get those values deep rooted in their hearts and will learn life lessons too.

Makes Younger Minds Malleable

 Younger minds can grasp easily and can learn the morals and values from the stories. It’s easier to built a positive attitude in the minds of younger kids than the grown up adults.

Encourages Kids To Be Curious

 Kids may be introduced with adventures, science fiction, riddles, and traditions through stories. They also develop their knowledge by exploring their culture, tradition and inventing new things.

Vocabulary Is Improved

By reading and listening, kids can improve their word power. They build their confidence in communicating their heart. They will be introduced with new words and thus their vocabulary gets improved.

Screen Gets Reduced

Story telling aids in lesser screen time. It keeps the kids creative and active. Their self confidence and the art of communication gets improved. This will lead to happier and stress free life.

Kid’s Memory and Focus  Enhances

By repeating and replaying the stories, kid’s memory and concentration power gets enhanced. It really helps in decision making and boosting their potential to face the life with much confidence.

Kids Develop Empathy

They develop a deeper understanding of the world around them, in terms of people, history and subtext. It is important to explore different varieties of stories like the ones we have in our cultural section.

Do you tell stories to your kids? What are your favorite stories? What is your favorite time in a day? List your suggestions for spending quality time with your kids. Looking forward to read your stories.

Cultural Storytelling - It's importance and impact on our kids. www.raisingworldchildren.com #cultures #storytelling #stories #kids #kidslearnfromstories #countries

Vasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learned a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. You can find her @mysweetnothings on Facebook and Twitter.