storyMonsters - How to use the videos

I've made these videos to provide fun and accessible storytelling and to provide tools to start conversations with children in order to understand and deal with fears, difficult situations and challenging times in order to build resilience. The selection has been specifically chosen as they inherently contain themes and messages to act as a prompts for conversations - so they can be used indirectly or as directly as you like. The topic range will gently cover:

  • Anxiety and fear

  • How to think about and deal with (sudden) change

  • Feeling different/big feelings

  • How to deal with big scary things (monsters)

  • How to go on an adventure and come back safe

  • What happens when things are uncomfortable and you can't do or have what you want

  • Kindness

  • Teamwork

There will be stories for young children and a set for older children too.

The format will include:

A warm up - to get to body and senses focused and to start a process of getting into positive and ready starting point ready to join in and hear some stories! This also builds rapport and relationships and so hopefully you'll all come with me (and join in with me - on the storytelling journey.

There will be a welcome song and intro to the session.

This will be followed by three stories on a theme - two shorter and one longer. We will end on a lighter story.

The way I'm presenting these stories will increasingly  - over the series of videos - become more participatory - this means I'm relying on grown ups to help - please!

I'll need your help for these stories to work. This element is just for fun - to engage the children and give lots of ways and levels of access as I'm trying to tailor these videos for the widest range of needs and abilities I can through this limited platform.

I think children love to join in and come up with ideas, sounds, noises, reactions and to co-create the story. So I'll be asking for the children to sing, call and respond, clap, make noises and sounds, come up with their own suggestions and to comment on the stories - which is the approach I take in a live performance, in my children's hospital storytelling or school workshop. Unfortunately I won't be there, but hope that any adults accompanying the children to view will join in the warm ups and can prompt the children to join in - feel free to pause the video in order to do this.

I'll post a few notes on each of the videos to give a sense of any message or themes which you can follow up on or leave be as you choose. Finally I'll post links to follow on activities, signpost other resources and any follow on activities with the video post. Please send me any links and resources you think would be helpful - thanks. Your help here would be much appreciated.

 

My hope is that if your child is dealing with, or stumbles across an unfamiliar situation, thought or big feeling that you  - and they, are armed with a story that somehow explores that context. The aim is that you have an external narrative and story character/s to discuss and think about how they dealt with the issue, so the exploration  is depersonalised and isn't quite so scary.

I'm sure it's no surprise that I am creating this as a response to the Covid 19 Pandemic and as a first offer I wish to gift this free to all NHS

staff, Care workers, Key workers and to schools currently open to teach the former's children. I hope any and all of you may be able to enjoy a bit of time with your children and find distraction, entertainment and  a relief from the stress of the times. These old, traditional stories are full of thoughtful narratives and new,wonderful, wild, weird and funny things to talk about, reflect on and, I hope will give quality time shared as a gift. Please pass on the stories to wider friends and family and share, and share and share.

'A story, a story - let it come, let it go! A story, a story I'll tell it to you! 

A story, a story - let it come, let it go! A story, a story - 

You'll tell it to me!

We'll tell it to the trees!

We'll tell it to the world!'

Copyright -  Amanda Smith Storyteller, May 2020.

She has launched her new  Covid-adapted digital storytelling business by producing storytelling for business training videos with Nottingham's Real Creative Futures Digital/New Arts Exchange gallery.

She is the organiser of The Magic Story Carpet Family Storytelling festival July 2020.

She will deliver digital storytelling videos for building resilience for children in Summer 2020. They will focussing on how the story itself can gently mirror and present options around tricky subjects e.g. how to adapt to change, use thinking skills to process and adapt to challenges and how to use  the safety and structure of a traditional stories to start a conversation about difficult or scary things

Augut 2020: Amanda plans to run socially distant outdoor performances and story-walks around Nottingham's City and County parks.

 

Register your interest by emailing her on amandastories@hotmail.co.uk