Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fairytale Time

I have always wanted my children to love reading, and right from the time they are little babies, I have sat with them on my lap and read to them. I've loved that as soon as they have been able to toddle, they would hurry over to me with a book as soon as they saw me sitting on the couch. Those cuddly story times together have been so good for us. Not just because it was developing a love of literature, but for the bonding between us. Wonderful!

But learning to read can be hard and frustrating. The rules of phonics don't always apply and some words aren't pronounced the way they seem that they should. I want them to think of reading as a fun thing to do, not a chore. Books should be fun. I wanted the love of reading to be in place before those frustrating times came, so when my oldest began kindergarten, I started doing a new activity with my children every Friday afternoon. I called it 'Fairytale Time,' and we would start by reading a classic fairytale. Not one where the Big Bad Wolf is the protagonist, or where Goldilocks frightens away the bears, (I have never liked those versions) but rather the traditional telling. Then after we had read the book, we did an activity that corresponded to the book we had read. Some activities were fast, some took all afternoon. Some cost a little money, some were free. But the important thing was that we were consistent, and when Friday came around, my kids would be excited to dive into the next tale.

These are the stories we read, and the activities we did with them:

Thumbelina - thumbprint painting
Goldilocks - teddy bear picnic
King Midas - treasure hunt
Jack and the Beanstalk - planted bean seeds and watched them sprout
Boy Who Cried Wolf - What time is it, Mr. Wolf?
Owl and the Pussycat - made toy boats and floated them in the tub
Three Little Pigs - puppet show
The Elves and the Shoemaker - secret service for our friends
Rapunzel - played at climbing wall
Puss in Boots - painted ceramic dollar store kittens
The Ugly Duckling - pipe cleaner ducks
The Gingerbread Man - made gingerbread men
Little Red Hen - ground wheat and made bread
The Magic Nesting Doll - made paper Matrioshka dolls
Hansel and Gretel - made gingerbread house
Rumpelstiltskin - made riddle books
Beauty and the Beast - made scary beast crafts
Three Billy Goats Gruff - played on bridges at the park
Emperor's New Clothes - played dress-up
Snow White - candy apples
The Snow Queen - tobogganing
Cinderella - finger painted with our toes
Princess and the Pea - sat on cushions till we found the one with the marble under it
Little Red Riding Hood - baked cookies at Grandma's house
The Frog Prince - leap frog
The Little Mermaid - went swimming
The Pied Piper - made a musical parade around our house
Twelve Dancing Princesses - played a freeze-dance game
Stone Soup - made stone soup for supper
Tom Thumb - thumb wrestling
The Nightingale - made bird feeders
The Golden Goose - dyed eggs
The Magic Fish - played Go Fish
Tortoise and the Hare - ran races in the backyard
Sleeping Beauty - had a slumber party

Now that I have another child in kindergarten, we have brought back this weekly activity, and all of us are enjoying it just as much the second time around...maybe even more!

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