Tell Me a Story


Here’s a nice way to spend a few minutes snuggling with your preschooler before bedtime or nap time.

Take an old favorite story you are both familiar with–fairy tales work well–and have your child tell it to you. You can even close your eyes—but don’t fall asleep!

Look out for surprise endings. One of my preschoolers had the Three Bears send Goldilocks to her room for throwing a tantrum. Another had a policeman arrest her for breaking, entering, and porridge theft.

You can also try showing your child paintings of people–for instance those by Norman Rockwell, which represent a detailed slice-of-life. Ask your child to make up a story to go with the picture.

I had a nice little purse-sized book with hundreds of Rockwell pictures. It was great to use on plane and car trips as our family often made up stories together that fit the pictures.

What a great way to pass the time and learn more about the way your child thinks! You may be amazed at how different from you your child is at seeing the world, and at how creative your little ones can be.

Motherhood is meant to be enjoyed. Enjoy it!


Laurie Winslow Sargent

Excerpt from The Power of Parent-Child Play, Chapter 7: But We’re So Different! on finding fun ways to play, despite personality differences.

About Laurie Winslow Sargent

Laurie Winslow Sargent @LaurieSargent at has tips for parents, and offers advice to nonfiction writers. Author of Delight in Your Child's Design, Second Edition, Kindle (2016, EABooks), paperback edition (2005,Tyndale/Focus on the Family), and The Power of Parent-Child Play (2003, Tyndale). She has also contributed to 11 other books, dozens of magazines, and been on radio broadcasts aired in nearly every US state.

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