Roald Dahl Day is celebrated on 13 September which was the famous author’s birthday. This year it is extra special because 2016 would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday.
Roald Dahl is best known for the books he wrote for children. Stories, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, The BFG and The Twits, are still well loved by children and adults the world over. He also wrote stories for adults as well as film screenplays, including James Bond’s You Only Live Twice, and he co-wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
His first book for children was James and the Giant Peach which was published in 1961. More stories followed including Fantastic Mr Fox, Danny Champion of the World and George’s Marvellous Medicine. In 1978 The Enormous Crocodile was published which was the first book he wrote for younger children and also the first to be illustrated by Quentin Blake.
Many see Roald Dahl as one of the greatest story tellers of our time. Story telling traditions go back thousands of years and are so important for young children and their development. It helps develop language and literacy skills as well as fuelling their imaginations. Whether it’s reading a book with a child or making up a story to tell them, it will all help improve a child’s education.
The stories we hear as children influence our outlook on the world and introduce new places, people, situations, ideas and fantasies. Reading and hearing stories can help children learn how to cope with certain situations in the real world.
Evidence also suggests that reading and hearing stories make children more empathetic as they can understand people better, realise that not everyone is the same as them and that people have different kinds of lives and lifestyles.
Story time is also a great way to help children relax. Being read to or told a story is comforting and relaxing.
Story telling doesn’t have to mean reading a book; it can be making up a story. This is a great way to stimulate a child’s imagination as they can join in and help the story develop. You can make up stories about anything, such as their favourite teddy, or tell stories from their past or things that happened when they or you were younger.
In tribute to the great man himself why not start your story telling adventures this week on Roald Dahl Day. Here are some ideas for how to celebrate Roald Dahl Day:
- Read one of his stories for the first time or re-read your favourite. With 21 children’s books there are plenty of stories to choose from.
- Roald Dahl had a fascinating life – among other things he was a fighter pilot, a spy and worked in Africa – so find out what you can about him.
- Dress up as your favourite Roald Dahl character – it could be Mr Twit, Willy Wonka or a giant peach!
Write your own Roald Dahl-inspired tales. Why not try making up some new wondercrump words like he did in The BFG?
What is your favourite Roald Dahl story? Tell us which one and why and let us know how you are celebrating Roald Dahl Day – you can contact us on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear about what you get up to.
To find out more about reading with young children see our post on the importance of early years’ reading.
At ELF we are experts in early years’ education and supply classroom furniture, play equipmentand classroom storage to schools, nurseries and pre-schools. For more information about our products, please contact us or call 01733 511121.