Fairy Tales

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.


Star Wars Storytelling for Kids

Today’s blog post, Star Wars Storytelling for Kids, is brought to you by the famous Google Doodle, which is another story. This doodle is for Charles Perrault, the writer of some well-known fairy stories. Why would a storyteller deserve a day? Another question could be why these stories have been popular for centuries in the first place.

storytelling for kidsAll these questions have the same answer: because the human brain is wired for story. The power of our brains is based on connections. These connections make pathways. Fairy stories not only have pathways thru the forests, but, like all stories, they are a marvel of connecting. Emotions, actions, characters, and consequences are all woven together in a story. So much so, that there are movies of fairy tales seen by millions of people more than 300 years after they were written down. The movie and entertainment industries are all about stories. So is book publishing and news reporting. To say there are billions of dollars involved is no fairy tale.

Considering this, it’s not so strange to have a Google doodle about storytelling. Stories make it easier for brains to understand and remember. They condense vast banquets of information into smaller bites. Stories can be effective for teaching and learning and have been used as a tool for centuries.

star-wars-storytelling-kidsWhen it comes to kids, stories are a super strategy. Kids get their knowledge about dinosaurs and outer space from stories, not from experience. We read books to kids about monsters, animals, faraway places, feelings, bodies, adventures, and more. Imagination takes kids all around the world and beyond. And grownups too.

For a play-of-the-day, take some time for stories with your kids. Instead of reading, make up your own. Maybe Yoda comes to your house for lunch. Then what happens? Perhaps the car transforms into a space ship. Where does it go? Does your child have a concern or worry about something? A favorite Star Wars character might have a solution. Can your imagination play some Star Wars storytelling for kids too?

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #13

Beauty and the Beast Pretend Play-of-the-Day

The story of Beauty and the Beast and today’s play-of-the-day can help young children deal with the common fear of monsters and scary creatures. Some are afraid of such ordinary things as a vacuum or their own shadow. You can either read this story to your child or tell it using your own words.

Beauty_and_the_Beast_Little_Golden_BookAs a contrast to many other fairy tales, this time the girl comes to the rescue. A merchant, with a beautiful daughter, goes on a journey and picks a rose from a garden. Unfortunately, the garden belongs to a beast who demands the merchant bring back Beauty. She comes and stays, grows to like Beast, but misses her family. Beast lets her return but asks her to come back at a certain time. Beauty stays too long and Beast falls ill but returns just in time to save him from dying. Her kiss turns him back into a prince, breaking the evil witch’s spell.

 boy dancing pretend playThis is a fun story to act out after reading or telling because there’s so much action. Young children love and need to move. After sitting and reading this story, it’s time to get up and move around. Ask your child to walk like a beast or monster. You can do this too. Then, kids can try hopping crawling, jumping, and, if there’s enough space like a whole yard or gym, running like monsters. How would a monster fly? Do monsters swim? Kids may need to be reminded that it’s okay for monsters to growl but only outside or if they use an inside voice.

making faces pretend playMonsters can also make very scary faces and check themselves out in the mirror. Both boys and girls like to pretend being beasts or monsters. Children can use toys to be the characters. On YouTube there are short videos of the Muppets and Thomas the Tank. Here’s another done by kids.

Reading and talking about monsters and beasts, and pretending to be them in active play all help kids cope with fear of monsters. Any concerns with monsters for your child?

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #12

Cinderella Inspires a Play-of-the-Day Cinderella is another fun fairy tale that can inspire play activities, not just for girls but boys also. Glass slippers and fairy godmothers are not required. Cinderella is not much liked by her step-mother and step-sisters and has to do all the work. When the prince invites everyone to a ball, … Continue reading March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #12

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #11

The Princess and the Pea Play-of-the-Day Sensory stimulation and play activities are vital for young children. The story of The Princess and the Pea inspires a play-of-the-day for the sense of touch. When a stranded princess arrives at a castle, the prince and his mother who own it welcome her. The queen wants to make … Continue reading March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #11

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #10

The Emperor’s New Clothes Play-of-the-Day Books are important to share with children for more than just reading. Stories put clothes on bare words, unlike the emperor in the Emperor’s New Clothes. In this story, the emperor wanted to impress everyone by wearing magnificent and expensive clothing. Two clever tailors brought him some fabulous and pricey … Continue reading March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #10

March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #9

Little Red Riding Hood Inspires Play-of-the-Day Grab a basket and we’ll go along with Little Red Riding Hood for today’s play-of-the-day to have some fun with colors, walks in the woods, and picnics. Little Red Riding Hood is sent on an errand to take some food to her grandmother who is sick in bed. Her … Continue reading March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #9

Readiness for Kindergarten – Once upon a pumpkin…

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 help … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Once upon a pumpkin…