Fantabulous story sharing tips from the Roald Dahl Museum
Share a story together this Roald Dahl Day. It could be one of Roald Dahl’s, a story you made as part of our Make Stories Like Roald Dahl summer challenge or a book by another author. Whatever you choose to read, take our top tips to make it extra-special in the same way that Roald Dahl did.
Choose the spot for telling your story carefully. Think about the kind of story you’re sharing to help you get the atmosphere just right. One of Roald Dahl’s favourite places to gather his family and tell stories was under a railway bridge near his house. This dark, damp tunnel was perfect for anything a little bit spooky!
For a story like Danny the Champion of the World, head out into the woods and experience the sights, sounds and smells for yourself. Or why not build a den like Fantastic Mr Fox – great for snuggling up with a story.
(Or Ecitcarp sekam tcefrep)
Roald Dahl wrote his stories to be read out loud, but if you’re a fan of Esio Trot you’ll know it’s not always easy. He added extra backwards words after testing the book with a group of children. They loved these tongue-twisters and demanded even more, just to up the challenge.
And then there’s The BFG, who speaks in his own jumbly ‘gobblefunk’ way. A quick practice of some of his words could take your story from squiff-squiddling to phizz-whizzing. Try a run-through of your story before you share it to avoid any strange surprises!
Speaking of the BFG, how about speaking like the BFG? A lot of Roald Dahl’s characters have very distinct voices. Changing how you read can really bring them to life. You don’t have to be an expert in accents, but just switching up the speed or pitch of your voice can make a big difference.
Try speaking slowly in a low voice for the BFG, and higher and faster for his little friend, Sophie. Perhaps there are some characters that whisper and others that shout? Maybe you might like to invite someone else to read particular parts?
If you fancy it, costumes and accessories are always an option to help everone really get into character!
A few props can really bring a story to life. When he told his children the story of the BFG, Roald Dahl used a bamboo cane from his garden for the BFG’s dream trumpet. He even climbed a ladder to poke the cane through their curtains and blow dreams into their room at night.
You don’t need to climb a ladder while brandishing a bamboo cane though! Something as simple as a wooden spoon could mix George’s medicine, swish like Miss Trunchbull’s riding-crop or paint glue onto the Twits’ ceiling.
To use all your senses to share a story, why not serve some snacks to match? Roald Dahl’s breakfast table often featured blue, green or pink milk. He whizzed this up with some fruit to make witches’ potions for his children to drink while they listened to bedtime stories. Imagine drinking those while hearing tales of the Grand High Witch!
If you’re entering the giant peach with James, a few slices of peach will help you to imagine the tastes and smells inside. Sweets and chocolate would be delicious for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and preparing your snacks together will really help to build the excitement. However, snozzcumbers and goose-liver doughnuts are best avoided.
PS. We've got some fantabulous news! The Roald Dahl Museum will be re-opening in time for October half-term on Saturday 20 October!