We humans are pretty amazing creatures, and there are many things about us that might be considered ‘superpowers’. Think about our wonderful creative brains, our ability to communicate complex ideas to each other, or even our amazing thumbs, which allow us to pick up and use objects with ease.
But anthropologists (scientists who study human societies) think that there might be another super-secret that helped us to become so successful as a species: grandparents!
‘Grandparents can be pretty cool,’ you might say, ‘and they might be great at telling jokes or fixing things or baking a Victoria sponge. But how are they super?’
Well, research seems to show that in hunter-gatherer societies grandparents helped raise children, gathered food using their knowledge, and passed on the many things they had learned in their long lives to the little ones.
I bet you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with stories?’ Well, we’ll tell you: grandparents often passed on their wisdom for stories! Storytelling by grandparents is the most wonderful human tradition and it goes back to before the beginnings of history.
But in many Western societies nowadays, we focus so much on the immediate ‘nuclear family’ (parents and their kids) that we don’t spend as much time with the extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents). But how nice it would be to encourage grandparents and grandkids to spend more time with each other? It could enrich both their lives immensely, and what better way to do that than by sharing tales?
When children are able spend quality time with the superheroes in their lives, Nanna and Grandad, we would like to encourage them to read together! Storytime has a variety of themes and stories to please everyone and help to build a bridge between both worlds: children can share their Worlds of Wonder and grandparents can share famous folk tales from Storyteller’s Corner with mastery! They can also share their favourite stories from when they were children or talk about things they have experienced in their lives!
Here are several benefits that sharing stories can have in the family:
- Grandparents and grandchildren having the chance to spend more quality time together. The bond they will create through stories will stay with them forever.
- Grandparents will get to pass on the things they have learned and share the family’s history. This can help the kids feel ‘grounded’ and strengthen their identity and sense of belonging.
- Senior citizens often feel isolated in modern times, and this is a great way to counteract that! Reading time could become special for everyone involved and something they both look forward to. It can be something they also look forward too, where they feel connected and part of their family lives.
- It also gives a helping hand to busy parents, and they too will enjoy knowing their kids are having such a lovely time with the extended family!
- It is a very important part of forming a healthy habit of reading. By creating a routine of sharing stories, your child will always look forward to it. A lifelong love of reading is a gift, and it’s one they will never forget!
Kids learn best from the important people around them. Storytime was created with a mission in mind – to create stories families and friends would read, love and share. To encourage everyone to spend more time reading with kids, we have created a special READ TOGETHER pack.
It is full of tips and activities that will make shared reading more fun for grandparents, parents, carers, uncles, aunts and even older siblings! It can be downloaded for free here and make sure to share it with someone you care about!
It takes a village to raise a child and we truly believe reading together is an essential part of raising healthy and happy children! Can you think of a favourite story that your grandparents shared with you? Next time you meet the real superheroes in your life, don’t forget to thank them for all the wonderful stories they share!