How to tell tales



Baby, I wish you see a tale in your dream.

Traditions of upbringing were worked out through centuries, were carefully kept and passed through generations. There is nothing unnecessary, unimportant, and inessential in them, everything is useful and important. Lullaby, songs, rhymes, poems, riddles, proverbs and sayings, tales everything should be heard by a child from grannies, grandpas or parents. I want to tell you more about bedside tales. We’ll see how they differ from ordinary tales and how they should be read and told.

Before going to bed, I mean about 2 hours or an hour and a half before sleeping, you’d better stop active games. A child should come down, relax and get ready for bed. Having a bath especially with essences and then to listen to a tale that’s of great help. Songful, slow Russian tale is the best way to arouse interest, fascinate, quieten a child.

No records.

No records only your own voice, telling stories like singing lullabies shouldn’t be trusted to the tape or computer program. Even good quality records won’t take place of  face-to-face communication and vivid story. Scientists proved that not only words are important in communication but also intonation, timbre, gestures, facial expressions and images that come to our mind while listening. A child can vividly imagine what his/her mum or granny telling him/her

The most widespread example of nonverbal communication is the communication between a woman and her unborn child during her pregnancy. It’s much written that a child feels and reacts on feelings, emotions, words and thoughts of his mum being in her belly. But this tie won’t be lost after the birth of a child, moreover other members of the family will be involved. A child gets information from adults gathering verbal and non verbal signs and creates his own images that develop his creative thinking and imagination.

These images distract a child from all around and help to fall asleep and his dream becomes a kind of continuation for the tale told.

That’s why many books on upbringing say that while reading or telling a story to your child you should think only about him not about half-cooked soup or while singing a lullaby think of serials or new shoes. This contradiction between your thoughts and words would be very harmful for a child. That’s why records which don’t carry nonverbal images are not perfect.

Grannies - best?

Traditionally in Russian families grandmothers took care of children. So you can entrust a granny to put a child to bed if you don’t suckle any more. Why granny? Well, she doesn’t hurry, she is not so excited as younger members of the family. A child feels emotions of the nearest people and he falls asleep easily if someone calm is near. By the way no one knows as many tales, stories, lullabies as grannies.

If you have no granny or may be she is busy, mum, dad, grandpa, a babysitter, anyone whom the child knows can tell at least one story.

How to tell a tale?

It’s dark outside, a child has a bath and puts on his pyjamas and it’s time for a tale. Of course it’s better when you know it by hurt but you may learn any tale and it’ll be your bedside one (tell in only before going to bed). In this case from the tale is a signal that it’s time for bed and you are free to hug your child.

Books especially picture-books can draw child’s attention. Books better suit day reading that involves looking through the pictures and character discussions. Bedtime tales are better to be told.

Dim the lights or switch on a night lamp in order not to change the lighting when a child falls asleep. Switch off TV, music and start telling.

Bedtime tale differs from tales we read or tell during the day. You needn’t change your voice, too much emotion is of no importance what you need is calm voice a bit like singing. The story ends but the child doesn’t sleep sing him a lullaby. He may not notice that you start singing especially if you tell rhymed tales. There are many rhymed tales they may be folk or author’s e.g.: Pushkin’s, Ershov’s. Choose whatever you like.

When you see that your child is sleeping don’t stop the tale continue it as settle him down, cover with a blanket. Stop when you leave the room, unless you speak the child won’t be awaken by the steps or the squeak. Or you may lie down and sleep. Sometimes the wish is so great to do this after a long day.

Good night and fairy dreams!


 Valentina Grigorenko, 2012