Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
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!
The 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.
Outside, 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?
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.Continue Reading
Parents and caregivers of young children often forget, or even avoid, traditional fairy tales. After all, these stories are politically incorrect and have stereotypes and violence. As a new ‘enlightened’ teacher, when an older professor suggested using them as a teaching tool, I scoffed at this idea from the Dark Ages. How can fairy tales helpContinue Reading
The blog posts for most of March have dealt with fairy tales and how they can be used to promote kindergarten readiness. Today, being the end of the month, this is the last one. Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is fairly familiar because of the popularity of the Disney version. At first, there doesn’t seemContinue Reading
I have yet to see the movie Tangled but I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to go soon. Originally, fairy tales were not just for kids, but were a form of entertainment for adults. The stories formed part of the oral story-telling for generations and have been used for all kinds of research projects. This month,Continue Reading
I have been showcasing one fairy tale and looking at how it can be used as a teaching/learning activity for kindergarten readiness for little ones. Sleeping Beauty seems to be another story of a helpless female, needing to be rescued and wakened by a prince. If that’s all it is, it needs to disappear intoContinue Reading
To finish off the month of March, I’d like to include a few last fairy tales. Parents of young children often ask me if there is any value to reading old, traditional fairy tales. They are full of stereotypes and hidden messages. While these are valid concerns, fairy tales do have merit. The magical storyContinue Reading
On the drive to work today, with this being the last Discovery Space Shuttle voyage, I heard the neatest interview with an astronaut! It was so cool I rushed into the school and down the hall to my class bypassing the staff room and my first cup of tea. The radio host asked what were importantContinue Reading
Disney versions of traditional fairy tales have their own spin but they keep the stories from being forgotten. Beauty and the Beast is familiar to lots of little ones. There is an obvious message that there is beauty on the outside and beauty on the inside. But there are other lessons, too. Beauty and love areContinue Reading
On the face of it, the lessons in Jack and the Beanstalk do not seem to be ones that we want to teach children. If we only tap into the meaning on the surface Jack goes somewhere he shouldn’t and takes something that doesn’t belong to him. But below the surface, Jack symbolizes someone confrontingContinue Reading