This month the blog topic is fairy tales. Even though they are not as popular as they used to be, they still have value and a useful role for children and can be used at home and in care centers for kindergarten readiness activities.
The story of Cinderella has much different meaning for kids than it does for adults. To us, it seems to reinforce the idea of a female being limited to a life of thankless work until she is saved by a male. To children, they often feel like they are locked into what adults want them to do and that they have no freedom of choice. But Cinderella dreams and these dreams are so powerful that they do come true. It reminds me of the little girl in the book and movie Eat, Pray, Love who holds a piece of tile and dreams of someday having a house. Her dream comes true, too.
Beyond the symbolism, there are some easy activities that partner with the story for some kindergarten readiness fun. Cinderella has shoes made out of glass. What kinds of shoes are at your house? Sort some shoes into groups, such as shoes with laces, shoes with velcro, small shoes, big shoes, play shoes, good shoes, etc. Talk about the groups. What kinds of groups did you make?
Another idea is asking your children what they dream they can do. Some of the answers I’ve had to this question include dreams of being able to fly, some dream they can swim like mermaids, some they can skate and play hockey and some dream of climbing mountains. Kids may want to draw and color a picture of their dreams. Even at preschool ages children have fascinating and important dreams. What were your childhood dreams? What are they now?