What role can storytelling play in a child’s cognitive and emotional well-being? Storytelling for children is vital because it is the best conduit to teach valuable lessons while children actively follow an organized set of acts packed with stimuli in the form of colors, shapes, and characters.

Children are easily distracted. They have a short attention span, normal for their age, which is enhanced by today’s countless signs around them: colors, noises, and even smells. Plus, everything is new and presents an excellent opportunity to explore for them.

On the other hand, adults have numerous subjects to teach children during those first years, like science, morals, nature, good manners, the importance of friendship and family love, etc. Storytelling is the best way to address all those subjects, often with an entertaining and satisfactory ending.

Many questions might sound repetitive, but these are necessary for children to gain confidence.


More Benefits in the Long Term


Storytelling shows children that every story has a past, a present, and a future. It means it involves origins and consequences. A lesson can be learned if there is a consequence, a result that promotes or condemns certain attitudes or acts. Children can see themselves as the characters of a story and use that idea to hone their communication skills with their parents.

Children also need to ask questions. If they feel they are in a secure environment, they will ask more and more questions. Many might sound repetitive, but this is necessary to gain confidence. In the same way, parents can ask for more details and let children complete with their imagination what the stories don’t show.

On our side, Friends of Rick Daniels storytelling books, we have created numerous stories with valuable lessons about telling time, counting, addition, subtraction, exploring the world around us, and the power of imagination.


What to do after Reading?


Talk. Talking is the best way to share opinions. It is possible you encounter answers you didn’t expect. Let the children speak their minds; it might surprise you.

Help them verbalize and offer words they might seek to translate their thoughts.

Remember that storytelling also comes out of your own experiences. You can share stories and experiences of your childhood, so your children understand you have also gone down that same path and came out of it with a valuable lesson.

Let the children speak their minds; it might surprise you

By teaching children to create stories, you nurture their storytelling abilities and potentially ignite their passion for art, language games, creativity, and innovation.

Children Creating their own Stories.


Take a piece of paper and ask your children to draw characters and create a story about them.

Are they friends or perhaps rivals? Do they have an objective? Do they find difficulty reaching that objective? Do they reach their goal on the first attempt or after several? Are they happy with the result, or maybe it differs from what they expected? T

his exercise will help them find solutions in complex situations. We all have been in a scenario where we do not know how to say or express something we feel.

The importance of family union during sickness is undeniable. When a family member is sick, particularly a child, the rest of the family needs to work and focus on the child’s physical health and mental wellness.  

During sickness, many questions haunt the patient’s mind. How did I get sick? Why now? When would I recover? Why are others totally fine while I am sick for so long? During extended treatment periods, the family plays an essential role in sustaining their relative and caring for his needs and expectations.

Family and emotional support                                 

Family love brings cohesion and a sense of belonging. If the patients are children, they will feel supported and eased thanks to a sense of predictability which will calm their anxiety. They know their family will be there the next day for another battle.

If children suffer from a complex battling illness like cancer, this unconditional love must be cultivated and nourished daily. Of course, there will always be difficulties, and some days might look longer than others, but eventually, if you keep fighting, every challenge turns into a victory.

How can I cultivate love to improve the bond among family members, particularly children undergoing such significant trials?  Here are some ways you can nurture your family love:


  • Listen to your children’s desires, hopes, and wishes.
    • Spend some time talking about their dreams. They might keep some thoughts for them, which is fine, but ask them to tell you about their ideas and plans. Children still don’t have all the tools in their vocabulary to clearly express their feelings, and in some cases, they might think it is hard and consider that nobody understands them, so be patient.
  • Do not expect your children to change their mood.
    • Your children must acknowledge their feelings if they suffer from a disease like cancer. Sometimes, they would like to express their impotence and be angry before they calm down and regain confidence. Avoid trying to force them to feel happy all the time. Instead, give them time and space to express all their feelings.
  • Express your love generously.
    • When they achieve a milestone in their treatment, be very visual. Children need to feel they are being recognized, particularly after difficult times. Remember that the children who might express they do not like an emotional display of happiness usually need it most. Some kids are introverted and want something more personal and private but still want to feel recognized.  A gift would always be well received.


Preparing children for the future

Enjoying family love is essential to shape the human brain and guaranteeing its better function over the years. Adults who have received affection during demanding situations in their childhood have a better chance of recovering from depression, anxiety, and mental health problems.


Dysfunctional family?

No two families are the same; there are families where a father, mother, and maybe even both are absent. However, not only the unions made from bloodlines are families, but also the ones where love has transcended links and losses.

On the other hand, if there is a complex family history where love was not the center, individual and family therapy is available. Often, facing and coping with the past is the best way to heal in the present and secure a better future for all the family members.

Love must always be the center of any union, a love that does not look for pride, self-benefit, or self-satisfaction but only for the well-being of the other.


By Eduardo Guillen

May your adventures bring you closer together, even as they take you far away from home.

                                                                                                                                                                                        -Trenton Lee Stewart-


‘There is a magical cave in the park, an almost hidden spot between the bushes next to the baseball field. Let’s explore it and find out what’s in it!’ This is a comment you usually hear among children, particularly the youngest ones. Of course, kids’ impulse for curiosity has always been present, but have you wondered how vital curiosity is for their development?

Let’s start by saying that curiosity is necessary for children’s brain development. Children are born with a natural tendency to explore, play and try to discover how the world works.

Click here to find out how important it is to play during childhood.

Children and Curiosity


Children have colossal imaginations, and some even create imaginary companions. Curiosity is a way of clarifying and matching their ideas and desires with the world.

Children adjust their imagination to find creative solutions to everyday problems as they discover more.  

In the past, excessive imagination and curiosity might have been passed as a weakness, like in the study of Dr. Benjamin Spock titled ‘Common Sense Book of Baby and Childcare.’

However, recent studies have shown that higher degrees of imagination during childhood can lead to highly creative and productive adults.

It is also valuable to consider that our organization, Friends of Rick Daniels, provides storybooks to children needing emotional support. A book full of illustrations is a great resource to quench children’s curiosity and thirst for adventures.

We can also show how children and curiosity go together with storybooks. Our books also include educational lessons like counting, telling time, taking the bus, and returning home safely.

Manage curiosity, pros, and cons


Parents and Custodians must allow children to explore and encourage them to discover new mechanics around them.

There might be cases in which parents are troubled after watching what would be unreasonable behavior: like being loud for a long time, trying to hear an echo, or throwing something to the floor to see if it bounces as a ball would do.

The day-to-day mischief is children’s way of finding out how things work.


Some kids might feel discouraged after trying to perform an activity just as they saw on TV or online. Instead, motivate them to keep trying to achieve their goals.

Nevertheless, supervision here is the key. However, do not turn children’s safety into an excuse to block their development. Here you can see how to cultivate curiosity:


  • Redirect discouragement: Some kids might feel discouraged after trying to perform an activity just as they saw on TV or online. Instead, motivate them to keep trying to achieve their goals.
  • Ask them open questions: Ask their opinions on simple matters so they can feel listened to. Even better, if the matter has been related to one activity previously performed by the kid, he will feel even more motivated to participate in the conversation. Children and curiosity definitely go together.
  • Take your kids to explore new places: the zoo, different parks, and the beach; their senses will receive new stimuli, and physical activity is always good for their bodies.


At the same time, avoid behavior that might block children’s curiosity, such as these:


  • Cultivate courage, not fear: Avoid saying, ‘You are going to break it,’ ‘You do not know how to handle it,’ or ‘You are going to get hurt.’ Expressing carefulness is always good but remember that you also need to provide children their own space and the possibility to make mistakes.
  • Be close to your children during their development: Children need parent figures. If you are not there to be one, the children will take it from somebody else. The presence of adults will also help them feel safe and encourage them to face challenges together until they feel ready to do them alone.

In this regard, showing them storybooks full of adventures and experiences about how knowledge is discovered and put to good use will stimulate their imagination and encourage them to overcome challenges. Find some here.


By Eduardo Guillen



Have you ever wondered how important play is during childhood? You probably forgot now that you are an adult, but playtime is essential for developing social, physical, and emotional skills.

Yes, for children, play is natural and sometimes can get crazy with household items getting damaged and angry neighbors complaining about noises.

Regardless, children’s play is unlike any other game. It requires surveillance and efficient time to help them develop cognitive abilities while learning lessons about rules, order, and camaraderie, especially how to win and lose.

Play to Learn, Learn to Play

However, nowadays, play is affected by a hurried lifestyle and rigorous demand for academic achievements at an early age.

According to a publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics, being a slave of the clock, among other factors such as changes in family structure, affect children’s education and represents a barrier to healthy brain development.  

You can learn about new unique opportunities to play with Ike and Mike. Click here for more info.

Furthermore, having a fair amount of daily play reduces anxiety, increases the personal satisfaction, and promotes healthy family time, besides developing dexterity to execute physical tasks.

As mentioned by Daniel Marston in an article for Psychology Today, children benefit from play activities. They are essential for communicating and acting effectively in the future because they allow kids to learn new abilities.  

Learn why nobody wants to play with Albert the Skunk. Can he find a place in the forest and gain recognition? Click here for more

How to Play with Books

Children can also play with books.

Play is not limited to physical but also mental activities such as literacy. How?

Let the children explore the books by touching them, pointing and drawing on them, expressing the characters’ feelings, and playing the roles of the protagonists as an actor would do in a play (No pun intended).

Children will naturally ask what does it say here? And here? Children are curious, so showing them colorful books will stimulate their imaginations. As an adult, you can guide them and clarify what they see in the book.

As well, Friends of Rick Daniels provides opportunities for a playful time through books such as ‘My Name is Ji’ a book about leaving the zoo to find some friends to play with; ‘And Albert the Skunk, about a skunk who wins recognition and love in the forest; and ‘Ike and Mike go, Bowling,’ a fun story about two friends who learn about counting pins while playing.

Consequently, children will learn to play characters and roleplay as the characters of a story. Some might even become a narrator and read the story to another child or adult. Children will try to show you that they understand the story and will seek your approval to confirm that they did a great job.

Older children might create alternative versions of the tale or story they are reading. They also will be aware of more complex images and ideas, such as symbols and signs. They will become aware of the character’s needs and how his journey contributes to his personality.

As we see, play is important and can be performed differently. However, it is essential that the kids have a great time with that activity, feel free to engage with others, and are willing to accept the outcome, whether winning or losing.

By Eduardo Guillen