Introducing Our New Family Storytelling Guide

Cover photo boys embracing storytelling in the home

Introducing Our New Family Storytelling Guide

Discover how CPI's Storytelling Manual is spurring requests for home storytelling guides, addressing the needs of displaced children, refugees, and families impacted by trauma.

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In April 2024, ChildsPlay International (CPI) issued a comprehensive Storytelling Manual, explaining how schools, as well as groups dedicated to children’s education, could deploy the program. The manual is adaptable to an array of local settings and situations. It responded to the recognition that children everywhere love to tell stories and benefit from listening to and discussing other people’s stories.

Cover storytelling manual

The Manual itself generated discussion amongst our partners on the ground. For example:

Empowering Healing: Integrating Storytelling for Children Impacted by War Into the Home

In this regard, Sincere Heart, a Ukrainian charity aiding mothers and children impacted by the war, sought guidance from CPI. The organization coordinates six-day play camps aimed at emotional rehabilitation of children where mothers and children are together. Recognizing storytelling as a healing tool amidst trauma, Sincere Hearts wanted to know how to introduce storytelling into the home.

Ukrainian Children Embrace Playtime at Sincere Heart’s Play Camp.

CPI responded to this request, issuing a new guide specifically focused on how mothers can conduct story sessions in the home.

Practical Insights Promoting Confidence Within the Family Unit

Like the manual, the guide provides practical insights and promotes confidence within the family unit.


Creating a Safe Space:
  • Provide specific guidance on creating a dedicated “story” area, ensuring it becomes a “safe space” where children feel comfortable expressing themselves freely. (Link to Q&A with Professor Caroline Beauregard here.)
Participant Selection:
  • Offer advice on how to choose the right number of participants for the at-home sessions, optimizing engagement and inclusivity.
Follow-Up Discussions:
  • Outline strategies for holding follow-up discussions, emphasizing confidentiality and trust (“what is said in the space, stays in the space”).
Story Selection:
  • Suggest various types of stories that parents and children might want to tell, catering to diverse interests and emotions.
Establishing Routine:
  • Provide tips on making storytelling a regular activity, highlighting the importance of consistency and comfort in routine ((children find comfort in routine).

Particularly, the guide addresses the healing effects of storytelling on children and parents traumatized by disorienting events.

An Exercise in Compassion

Telling stories to children is an exercise in compassion. It allows parents and children to find joy in each other in a space that – however temporary – is separate from noisy surroundings and the harsh world outside.  Studies show that these benefits last even beyond a session, allowing everyone involved to feel better about the future.

Children in Jalozai Refugee Camp releasing doves during a CPI play and story event.
Children in Jalozai Refugee Camp releasing doves during a CPI play and story event.

Generational Bonds Strengthened: The Power of Sharing Stories

In the timeless tradition of storytelling, the family stands as a central pillar. Across the ages, family would gather, drawn by the flickering flames or the warmth of shared spaces, to weave tales that wove through generations. But it wasn’t just the stories themselves that mattered; it was the act of sharing them. Storytelling forged bonds within families, strengthening the ties that bound them together. There was a reassurance in the continuity of these shared tales, passed down from one generation to the next. And in the repetition of these stories lay their enduring power.

To inquire about CPI’s new Manual or the Guide to Storytelling in the Home, contact us!    

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Introducing Our New Family Storytelling Guide

Discover how CPI’s Storytelling Manual is spurring requests for home storytelling guides, addressing the needs of displaced children, refugees, and families impacted by trauma.

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