Adventures of a Story Catcher!

Where do stories come from? Books? Imagination? Paper Aeroplanes? Trees? And so we set off on the adventures of a story catcher!

Some folks like to call me a story maker but as I explained to 300 or so children during my 11 Book Week Shows last week, I’m really a ‘story catcher’ and my favourite place to catch a story or two is in mother nature.

And while it might sound like a lovely whimsical idea to catch stories on the wind, the fact of the matter is – it’s entirely true!

Writing kids stories and kids music for me is all about listening to the natural world that surrounds us. And of course I don’t just listen with my ears.

Without my story catching tools – ears for listening, nose for smelling, eyes for seeing and fingers for touching (and of course ‘catching’ those tricky little stories) – I couldn’t possibly write a collection of stories and songs inspired by the seasons. 

And it was so much fun sharing this part of my creative process with students from classes K to 3 during Book Week this year.

Tuning into our sensory experience of the world seems quite obvious and simple, yet in a fast-paced technology-abundant world like ours, sensory play is not as readily available to young children as it once was.

Stories do really come from the trees, flowers, wind and rain and we only have to take notice for a second to catch one!

Sand, mud and water are a sensory feast for a young child but a cleaning nightmare for a time-poor parent, yet the importance of developing the senses from a young age is paramount.

It’s not just the ability to catch kids songs and stories that we need the 5 senses for! Each time a child’s senses are stimulated they’re developing and consolidating neural pathways to the brain that will set them up for a lifetime of healthy learning.

And from an artist’s perspective, I can’t tell you how much inspiration I gain from feeling, smelling, tasting, listening and taking in the pure wonder of our natural world. It was such an honour and privilege to share in this truly magical creative space with children last week.

Stories do really come from the trees, flowers, wind and rain and we only have to take notice for a second to catch one!

Happy story catching everyone!

x Annie

If you would like to read more about sensory experiences developing neural pathways click here or for a fantastic read about sensory play in a young child’s life from popular waldorf blog Bellaluna Toys click here.

Annie Bryant is a storyteller & musician from Mullumbimby, Australia who loves to share her seasonally-inspired stories and songs for children at live performances and on The Seasonal Collection of Winter, Spring, Summer & Autumn recordings. To listen to her stories & songs or find out more click here   


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