Once Upon a Time… Storytelling and Childhood Development

People of all ages love stories. Whether these tales are rooted in real life or fictitious worlds, the act of both telling and listening to stories has been found to influence a person’s mental, lingual and social development. For children, stories offer a window to the world, providing them with a safe place to exercise their curiosity, gain insight into universal life experiences and improve their narrative comprehension. But just what constitutes “storytelling” in today’s media-driven world of cartoon networks and mobile games? As the line between entertainment and education is blurred, parents are finding themselves negotiating between a growing number of new narrative venues.

Luckily, when it comes to creating digital experiences here at Loud Crow, our team of knowledgeable designers and developers are determined to do more than just dazzle with visual wizardry.

Mike Truong, VP of Product Marketing at Loud CrowEvery Loud Crow app is built upon a sturdy storytelling foundation that is engineered to not only boost thinking capacity, but also increase memory, enhance listening skills, and improve vocabulary.

– Mike Truong, VP of Product Marketing at Loud Crow

Storytelling vs. Entertainment

Television, movies, computers and tablets have opened up a whole new frontier for storytelling experiences. With that being said, not all media has the ability to portray storytelling experiences in a way that's easy for children to comprehend. Consider the following:

  • Children are naturally slow to grasp concepts.
    A child’s brain simply cannot process information as quickly or as cohesively as an adult’s mind can. As such, children need to take their time when encountering new concepts and ideas. It’s through this slow and intentional learning process that children are eventually able to associate images with words, and ground their imagination in reality.While a child may find a half-hour television program entertaining, he or she will likely struggle to stay on top of the plotline. This is because the fast-paced visual stimulation of the images will dominate the child's attention. Even though the element of storytelling is there, young children may never make the connection between what they're seeing and the narrative that is taking place.When shopping for storytelling experiences to share with your child, look for applications that enable youngsters to ask questions through each phase of the plot. The best storytelling tools will feature built-in cues to make a child curious and encourage them to ask questions. That’s why every one of Loud Crow’s storytelling apps is broken into short, easy-to-digest spreads. This gives little readers plenty of time to investigate (with their eyes, ears and fingers) various elements of the story – be it the narration, the background, or the characters themselves.

    Goodnight Moon Page Navigation

    The Goodnight Moon digital table of contents separates the story into short, child-friendly portions.

  • Communication is built on the foundation of storytelling.
    It doesn’t matter whether you’re a doctor or an artist, a lawyer or photographer it’s difficult to be successful if you’re not a good communicator. Luckily, communication is, at its most basic level, the ability to tell a story well, be it to an individual or a group. And while most of us encourage the study of reading and writing, very few educators and parents truly understand the importance of teaching children the art of storytelling.Literacy, as a whole, is more effectively taught when reading, writing, speaking, and listening are seen as equally important components. What’s more, when children listen to stories being told, they become familiar with the rhythms and tones of verbal communication. This is how a child effectively learns what makes a story interesting, exciting, sad and funny.

    Reading Setting from Moo, Baa, La La La!

    Loud Crow digital story apps (Moo, Baa, La La La! is pictured here) come with “read to me” and “read it myself” settings.

    Interactive story apps take this one step further by pairing speech and words with gestures, animations and actions. It’s through this observation that children are able to grasp the concept of dialogue, emotion, and character interaction. This visual association, when paired with Loud Crow Interactive’s word highlighting and assisted reading tools, provides an educational experience within an entertaining atmosphere.

    It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Word Highlighting

    Word highlighting in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown makes it easier for children to engage in the storytelling experience.

It’s never too early to share the joys of storytelling with your child. Introduce your family to entertaining and educational narrative experience with help from Loud Crow’s growing library of digital story apps.

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