Putting Storytelling at the Heart of Early Childhood Practice is a brilliantly engaging and practical book that highlights the essential nature of storytelling in all walks of life, and how to best cultivate this in the early years classroom. The authors use a compelling Froebelian approach to explore the role of storytelling not just in the development of literacy but also in the development of communication and language and for maintaining good mental health and wellbeing.

Drawing on primary and contemporary research, and presented by a range of experienced authors, this book covers important topics such as:

  • The benefits of regularly practising storytelling
  • Storytelling during play activities
  • Group dynamics in constructing narratives
  • The roles of props and fantasy concepts in storytelling

This accessible guide is ideal for all early years practitioners looking to encourage literacy, communication and well-being in a supportive and creative environment, and for policymakers looking to develop best practice in the early years classroom.


Sacha Powell

Chapter 1 The flourishing of the Edinburgh Froebel Network ‘Players and Storytellers’ project

Jane Whinnett

Chapter 2 "Someone killed Goldilocks and they didn’t live happily ever after…" Isabella age 3 years: How regular storytelling helps to develop creativity and narrative role play

Sharon Imray and Karen Clements

Chapter 3 Tailoring Traditional Tales as Tools for our Trade: Transforming Literacy in the Early Years

Chris McCormick and Shauna McIntosh

Chapter 4 Storytelling Groups: Large or Small?

Alison J Hawkins and Moira Whitelaw

Chapter 5 Observing Stories Children ‘Tell’ in their Play: Reflections

Rhian Ferguson

Chapter 6 Using Props: An adventure in stories and drama to encourage young story tellers

Lynda Bardai

Chapter 7 Superheroes and Imaginative Play: More opportunities for our children?

Deirdre Armstrong

Chapter 8 "Fix, fix, fix – Olav is stuck!": Supporting children to tell the story that they really want to tell

Elaine Fullerton

Chapter 9 Woodland Adventures

Lucy Macfarlane and Rosemary Welensky

Chapter 10 The Stories Children Tell Us about their Transitions from Early Childhood Settings to Primary School

Lynn McNair

Chapter 11 Stomping Giants and Diamond Castles: A study of the use of story grammars to support the development of coherence in written narrative, within the context of a Froebelian play based Primary 1 classroom

Catriona Gill

Chapter 12 Gathering Thoughts about Storytelling

Tina Bruce