fairy tales learning activities

Fairy & Elf Activities #2 for Boys & Girls: Children’s Fairy Tales and Stories

Fairy tales are not politically correct and we may be concerned with the violence in them but children’s fairy tales and stories are still worth reading. They introduce kids to the magical world of dragons, castles, wishes, fairies, and animals that talk. Kings, queens, princesses and princes lead charmed lives and magic gives power. At the same time, the heroes are often the ordinary people who succeed with determination despite the odds. Often, the children save the adults.

fairy tales and stories

Even though the Disney versions are quite different from the Grimm’s and traditional fairy tales, at least, they have kept the stories from disappearing altogether. Knowing how the old stories go is part of enjoying ones with a new twist. Here are some wonderful stories based on the familiar ones to delight girls and boys, and the grownups reading them.

children's dragon books

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Tim Bowers, tells the coming of age of a young dragon who will now breathe fire. Except he doesn’t, despite the name of Crispin. Instead of lighting his birthday cake candles with a flame, Cripsin adds whipped cream. His misadventures continue, with bandaids for the doctor’s office, marshmallows on a field-trip, and more. His family and neighborhood finally come to terms with Crispin’s unusual and untypical power.dragon movement activities

Another dragon story is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. A prince is captured by a dragon and this time, it is the princess who saves him. Instead of fighting the dragon with bravery and a sword, she uses bravery and words. Unfortunately, the prince complains about her unusual appearance and the princess again has to use something sharp—her tongue, as she tells him her opinion of his behavior.valentine story books for kids

In The Princess and The Pony, written and illustrated by Kate Beaton, another warrior princess wants a big, strong, brave pony for her birthday. She ends up with a rolly-polly pony who farts. This story is hilarious and so fun.fairy tales and stories

Mo Willems, who writes of the two friends Elephant and Piggy, changes the three bears into three dinosaurs, in Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Jan Fearnley writes about a wolf who wants pancakes for breakfast in Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes, but has a terrible time. He can talk, but struggles to read, write, and count.fairy tales and stories

These and other books, are based on the world contained in children’s fairy tales and stories. Has your child visited this world?

Visit the world of play each day, on the 123kindergarten blog.


March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #8

The Three Billy Goats Gruff Play-of-the-Day

The tale of Three Billy Goats Gruff inspires a variety of fun activities for today’s play-of-the-day and encourages us to spend some time outside. Watch out for trolls!

three billy goats gruff play activitiesThe story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff is a Norwegian folk tale. Three goats (since they are billy goats they are males) called Big, Bigger, and Biggest, have eaten all the grass on their side of the mountain. There’s lots of grass on the other side, but to get there they have to cross a bridge guarded by a troll. (In modern versions, it could be a TOLL bridge.) Big Goat tries to cross but is confronted by the troll. He convinces the troll not to spoil his appetite but wait for Bigger Goat. The troll lets him cross to the other side. Bigger uses the same strategy and gets to the grassy side. When Biggest crosses, he butts the troll off the bridge with his big horns and the troll is never seen again. The goats enjoy the sweet green grass and rest in the sun. (Unfortunately, we can’t do the same with tolls.) In some versions, the goats are called Little, Medium, and Big.

When you read or tell this story you get to use different voices for all 3 goats and the troll. Kids love to do the troll voice. Making bridges is an obvious activity. Kids can use blocks, train tracks, Duplo and Lego, and other toys to make a bridge. Popsicle sticks are another option, as are coffee tables that can make a bridge between a chair and a sofa. Kids love to climb all over the furniture, but please use caution to avoid head bumps.

three billy goats gruff play activitiesOutside, instead of making bridges, you might be able to go for a walk to find one. Parks will often have wooden foot bridges over little streams and creeks. Kids can run across the bridge and back. They might like to stop in the middle and check out the water below. If possible, they can tuck a few rocks in their pockets to drop over the side. Do the rocks make a splash? What kind of sound do they make? Are there any ripples to see? Did you wake up the troll?

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #2

Snow White Inspires Play-of-the-Day

This is a new series of blog posts combining reading with a play-of-the-day. While it’s still winter how about the story of Snow White before the snow is gone? If it’s all melted where you live, it’s okay because we’ll have some fun with apples too.

snow-white play ideasSnow White is the story of a lovely princess who has to run away from the evil queen. She finds shelter with 7 dwarfs until the evil queen, disguised as a witch, tricks her with a poisoned apple. She is revived with the touch of true love, delivered in a kiss from the prince. Because this is a traditional fairy story, books about Snow White are easy to find or you can tell the story. This version has lovely illustrations by Jacqueline East.

Since everyday needs some outside time, once you and your child have shared Snow White, you might be able to go for a walk in the snow. It there isn’t snow, you won’t be able to make snow balls, or snow angels, or play duck, duck, goose. Instead, you could look for little creatures and small homes. The dwarfs house was hidden in the forest, and if we look we can sometimes see homes for birds, squirrels, and bugs.

apple-float-science-experimentBack in the house, here is a fun apple science activity. Will an apple float or sink in water? Run some water into the kitchen sink or just a big bowl or container. You will need enough so the apple doesn’t just sit on the bottom. Have your child guess first what the apple might do, float on the top of the water or sink all the way to the bottom. Step two is to put the apple in the water and check the guess. What did it do? Try putting the apple in sideways and upside down and see if it does the same thing. You could try a banana too.

With such a nice clean apple, the best thing to do is to enjoy it. Apples make a great snack. What else can you do with an apple?