Today I am excited to partner with Oak Meadow to bring you a post on a topic I love! Fairy Tales – and specifically: why should we read Fairy Tales to children?
I am in the middle of taking my final additional qualification course to becoming a reading specialist. A big focus with this course is becoming a leader in the field of literacy education. As I have been encouraged to focus on what skills truly make a leader, I have realized a few things I want to write about in this space. I often state how important I feel Fairy Tales are, for example, but I am going to begin explaining my “why“.
It is one thing to suggest to a parent that they read Fairy Tales to their children, but it is a completely different thing to explain exactly why it is so important. Knowledge is power.
So please, let me tell you!
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I have come up with a full 8 reasons which explain why reading fairy tales to children will make them brilliant. So much happens after Once Upon a Time …
1. Fairy Tales teach morals and help children discover right from wrong.
Helping my children learn to make good choices is one of the biggest challenges I have experienced as a parent. The characters in Fairy Tales are faced with making big choices constantly. Sometimes they make good choices, and sometimes they don’t. The beauty of a fairy tale is that almost always characters must reap what they have sown. Good choices are rewarded, bad choices are not.
2. Fairy Tales give adults a chance to introduce critical thinking skills
Along with the topic above, Fairy Tales provide a fantastic place for adults to discuss right from wrong, consequences of choices, and so many more critical thinking skills. Discussing character’s choices is a safer way for children to talk about right and wrong as it doesn’t involve them directly.
3. They build vocabulary and introduce children to culturally rich language.
I wrote a post earlier this year on the incredible importance of reading aloud to children. In that post I explained how there is a 4000 word vocabulary difference between the strongest and weakest child in a Kindergarten class and what you can do about it. Fairy Tales are a fantastic way to build vocabulary. Even more, they introduce children to words and terms that are not commonly used anymore and give them a culturally rich background of language to derive meaning.
4. Fairy Tales build imagination.
Fairy Godmothers, talking animals, flying children – anything is possible in a Fairy Tale! I really believe that the world needs more imaginative and creative thinkers. When our minds are opened to all sorts of ideas and possibilities as children we develop an out-of-the-box thinking style. When presented with a problem or challenge, children with vivid imaginations will come up with wonderfully unique ways to overcome those challenges.
5. While bad things happen in fairy tales, most provide the ideal that in the end good will win.
This world is a wonderful place. An incredibly beautiful place full of incredible people. But bad things happen. Fairy Tales give children the hope and courageous to face tough situations and hold in their hearts the ideal that in the end, good will prevail.
6. Fairy Tales introduce big emotions in a safe environment.
Some Fairy Tales are downright terrifying. So frightening in fact, that I will not read them to my little ones. But that is just me, and many, many intelligent people disagree with this. But they are not the ones who would be up with my children dealing with the nightmares in the middle of the night! However, there are some scary Fairy Tales that I do read to my children – and they love them. Fairy Tales introduce some really big emotions – such as fear and grief, in a safe and comfortable environment. This is a very powerful thing.
7. Fairy Tales provide an entire story structure (plot, setting, characters, inciting events, climax, and resolution) in a relatively short story.
Many children’s stories, as beautiful and rhythmic as they may be, often lack a strong story structure. For example, one of my very favourite children’s books, Each Peach Pear Plum, is beautifully written, has a lovely rhythm, and is incredibly engaging – but there is not a strong story structure. Fairy Tales provide children with this important knowledge of how a story flows and works.
8. Fairy Tales are Engaging
Above all else, fairy tales open a world of fantasy, adventure, and magic to our children. The excitement and engagement on little faces while reading a fairy tale truly says it all. If little ones are engaged in what they are hearing, the learning will happen naturally.
One of the hundreds of reasons that I love Oak Meadow is their big focus on Fairy Tales. They recognize what a powerful learning tool fairy tales are and they embrace this all the way through their curriculum.
Each of the fairy tales are matched to an alphabet letter, a number, or a science concept, which makes the learning that much more deep.
Today starts the Oak Meadow Valentine’s Day Sale, where you can get 15% off all items in the bookstore until February 14th.
So if you are looking for a meaningful curriculum for your little ones, or if you are looking to supplement the school curriculum, I highly recommend Oak Meadow. You will be re-living the magic, adventure, and fantasy of fairy tales each and every day — now that is what golden childhoods are made of!
Thank you for reading friends, I hope your week is off to a great start!