Category: Commentary

How Can I Stimulate My Baby’s Mind?

The question on the forum was “How can I stimulate my baby’s mind in just 10 minutes a day?” “The Story-Skilled Child” creator and presenter, Sean Buvala, addresses this question. His answer is “you can’t” and here is what you do instead? Create your home filled with language through conversation, questions and storytelling. Here’s a short video:

Fumble and Whack. Give Your Kid a Book.

boy in library reading a book story skilled child
There is a young dad standing outside. He’s holding his baby. She probably just turned two.

I hand him a copy of our “Apples for the Princess” book and one of “DaddyTeller: How to be Hero to Your Kids…” books.

The child can barely wait to get that book out of dad’s hands. She’s grabbing it, looking at the cover, fumbling to get it open. She is accidentally whacking dad in the face with the book as he juggles books and baby.

It’s adorable, frankly. And it is encouraging.

We hand out a lot of books to families in our “Story-Skilled Child” parenting workshops. Kids are usually not present at the workshops, However, sometimes they are there and that is okay. We do a lot of accidental babysitting and keep crayons and coloring pages in our kit. Our team normally doesn’t get to see the reaction to our books when the kids get a hold of them. But on this day, as we watch the father and toddler together, we know that these two books are going to a home full of language, to a family that reads together, with a parent that connects.

It doesn’t matter that the young child cannot actually read. It doesn’t matter that the toddler can’t understand the nuances of the words in the story. It’s not important that your child comprehend what is going on in the pictures.

What does matter is that you (parent, caregiver) read and communicate with your kids. Sometimes you are reading stories. Sometimes you will put the books down and tell stories.

Fill your home full of language. Let your children use those little fingers to grab big books and fumble with them.

As they say, “you got this.”

Read. Tell. Talk. Engage. Fill your home full of language. Watch this blog for a series of ways to help you do just that.

Sean Buvala is the primary presenter and creator of “The Story-Skilled Child” project and parent-involvement programming for Title 1 schools. The program is available for all schools in all neighborhoods. He is a storyteller with more than 30 years experience and the director of He and his wife Michelle have four young-adult children.

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Avondale KidFest 2016

michelle buvala at our booth for parent programmingYes! The “Story Skilled Child” is pleased to be a “community sponsor” for the upcoming Avondale KidFest in Avondale, Arizona. April 9, 2016 at Friendship Park.

Details: Here is an official page from the event producers. This event is a freebie for families. It is held outdoors, so be sun-screen ready for little ones (and big ol’ adults) especially.

Download the .pdf of the 2016 Avondale KidFest Flyer.

THIS LINK has information about parking and transportation to the event parking, etc.

picture of sun visor pattern from our show
One of two sun-visor designs, while supplies last.
COME SEE US at our booth! We’ll have a couple of connected booths with a very fun “make it and take it craft” of wearable paper sun visors. Color them and put them together…all right there in our booth. Of course, this is a “while supplies last” type of thing, but it will be fun!

When you are there, learn more about our “Story Skilled Child” parent-involvement workshop offering for schools and school districts! Great for all schools, but it’s especially fitting for those specific Title1 programs.


Presented in part by The Small Tooth Dog Publishing Group LLC.

Tags : , , ,

The Role of Fear in Fairytales.

red dragon design tell fairytalesThe role of violence in fairytales, when told to children, is to help them process fear. While we’d like our children to never be afraid or to experience violence, this is simply not a reality. With each hearing of some violence in a fairytale, the child’s unconscious controls the response as “I have had this fear before. I am safe here in this moment. I can survive this.” Each time, the child learns a bit more about how to grow up and how to deal with complex emotions.

– Sean Buvala,



Tags : , , , , , ,

Don’t Wait for Education to Start

Sean Buvala teaches DaddyTeller for the Pendergast School District
Sean Buvala teaches DaddyTeller for the Pendergast School District


Don’t wait for your child to “get to school” to learn. You…the parent…are the best educator of your child. Create a home full of language and words from the very beginning. Tell stories. Talk to your baby. Talk to your toddler. Talk to your preschooler, your elementary-aged child, your teens. Talk. Engage. Ask questions. Listen. Now.

You, parent (or the person acting in that role for the child), are the first educators of your child. It’s not something you “have to” do. It is something you get to do.


Tags : , , , , , , , ,