The Gift

Storytelling is one of the greatest gifts that parents can give a child. In this video, expert storyteller Mike Payton -who has been working with children and adults for over a decade- shares tips on how parents, educators, and artists can draw on this creative practice.

We hope this video will inspire you to try storytelling with children in your own life! Please also check out the online resources below. There are more videos, lots of tips, printable guides and digital tools to get you started on your own storytelling adventures!

To turn on English subtitles click the ‘subtitle’ button on YouTube clip.


The Gift workshops were really inspirational and will prove to be extremely helpful moving forwards with our families in igniting enthusiasm and a passion for storytelling in so many different ways and in  raising parental confidence. We can`t wait to get back to face to face groups to use these fantastic ideas!

Amanda, SSBC Family Mentor participated in The Gift workshops and consultancy for developing this resource.

Telling Tales

Ideas to inspire your storytelling

Each resource page is divided into three sections, covering different elements of storytelling. Section one features a series of videos made by storytellers, artists and theatre-makers who work with young audiences. They discuss practical ideas, hints, and tips and share their practice and the tools they use, to help you enhance your storytelling skills . The topics include using story bags, movement, puppets, feathers, everyday objects and creating spaces for storytelling. The video can be viewed in any order.

To Storytelling & StoryBag


Mike Payton takes us on a wondrous journey where he gives hints and tips to make up our own stories using props from a story bag and his trusted mouse friend. Find out how a story bag can help you, start now or continue reading to find out more about the resource.

To Storytelling through movement


Join dance Artist Liz Clark as she shows us different ways of moving and asks the question 'What 100 things could you do with a feather?' So cannot wait to get moving?  Start now or continue reading to find out what more we have in store.


To Sensory story spaces


Makers of Imaginary Worlds very own Roma and Rachel inspire you with a variety of spaces you can make at home. So get ready to snuggle down get storytelling! Have some cardboard and get ready to build, start now or see below for what awaits.

To Storytelling with objects


Sean Myatt puppeteer and performer shows us the amazing and exciting ways you can bring ordinary objects found at home to life. How would you move a sponge? Ready to find out more? Start now or continue on to the story props section next.

Join us on a journey through the whimsical lands of improvised storytelling, where adventure is around every corner!

Story Props

Easy and effective ways to make stories fun

Section two of each page features arts and craft activities for making story props . Storytelling props and objects can enhance and provide a powerful impact when telling a story. They often keep children engaged for longer and encourage them to take part in the storytelling. They can be anything from a toy to an everyday object. For help making fun story props, and ideas on how to use them please see the resources included in each of the webpages.

story props

Learn More

Explore links from further afield

In section three we have collected some of our favourite sources to help you delve deeper into the ideas explored in our Telling tales videos. It includes websites and articles from artists, theatre practitioners, researchers, early years practice and even the location of your local scrapstore for affordable materials.

‘We are all storytellers...Telling stories gives us the opportunity to express emotion and to use our imaginations with a freedom no other medium can offer... Telling stories to children enables them to learn the art of listening, in an age when many are lacking this skill. Encourage them to tell stories and they will gain confidence, improve their vocabulary and their literary skills.’

The Society for Storytelling 'A Beginners Guide to Telling stories'


We are grateful for the support from Small Steps Big Changes Ideas Fund and to the parents, early years practitioners and artists who helped us develop this resource in Nov 2020. As part of the live online consultancy project, families were sent story props in the post, we have provided resources for you to be able to make your own. We hope this resource will support families and practitioners to improve their storytelling skills to create exciting adventures with children.

Along with our interactive installations, we offer art, STEAM and storytelling workshops to support organisation in their work with parents and partitioners.  If you are interested please contact us.

See Take Part for more resources and online activities for children.


the gift

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We committed extending and improving The Gift resource. Your feedback is important to us, by working together we can make this resource better. Please contact us with any suggestions.