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.


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.




Fables - Who is Happy? The Crow or The Peacock

Fables – Who is Happy? The Crow or The Peacock

Who is Happy ? 

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.”

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot. It has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.”

The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.”

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”

The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.”

That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what God has given us. This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness. Learn to be happy in what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have. There will always be someone who will have more or less than you have. Person who is satisfied with what he/she has, is the happiest person in the world.

Moral : ” Never be sad comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their own beauty and strength. “

Retold by Aditi Wardhan Singh. Illustrated by Shruti Prabhu.

Indian Historical Stories – Chetak The Immortal Blue Horse

Chetak : The Immortal Blue Horse


Battles are won and lost. Leaving behind stories of heroes. Often times in war, it is not only the men fighting but the animals who fight for them that make for tales of glory.

Chetak was the horse of Maharana Pratap, whose role in the battle of Haldighati is worth repeating. Folklore has it that Chetak coat had a blue tinge to it. That is why Maharana Pratap is  often referred  to as the “Rider of the Blue Horse”.

Mahrana Pratap SIngh, King of Mewar found his biggest rival in the then Emperor of India Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar. Akbar was the one because of whom Pratap’s father had to flee from Chittorgarh and establish a new empire in Udaipur. Many Rajput Chiefs had expressed their loyalty towards Akbar but not Maharana Pratap.

The animosity brought the troops of Akbar and Maharana face to face in the battle of Haldighati. Pratap’s forces were decisively outnumbered but Maharana Pratap stood strong riding his royal, fearless horse Chetak. WhenMaharana Pratap realized that the battle was slipping away from his hands, he charged the elephant of the appointed captain of Akbar’s troops, Raja Man Singh. Pratap made a frontal charge and his fearless horse Chetak reared high in the air and planted his hooves on the forehead of the elephant. Pratap threw his lance towards Man Singh but missed.

During this hustle one of the tusks of the elephant tore Chetak’s rear leg, crippling him. This was a pivotal moment in the battle. Maharana Pratap had to retreat .

Inspite of his fatal would, Chetak  ran for miles and miles, even jumping high and through a river to get his master to safety.  Once assured that his master was out of danger ,Chetak collapsed and let out his last breath.

Chetak’s heroic act of bravery and loyalty towards his master made everyone forget the defeat Maharana Pratap had to face during the battle. Instead, it is his  his death that  has been immortalized in the ballads of Rajasthan.

Moral : Bravery displayed in the face of challenges becomes immortalized.

Illustrated by Shruti Prabhu. Retold by Vinni Mishra