Family / Kids

Tell a fairytale today

scatteredgame

PHOTO CREDIT: LEVI SABLE

February 26th was “Tell A Fairytale Day.” I’m tickled that there’s a day for that, and I appreciate the incidence of such a day being in February – the shortest month by day, and yet it feels like the longest here in the midwest, where winter has overstayed its welcome and then some.

Fairytales occupy a special place in society, stories that are understood culturally and even cross-culturally. They are older than written communication. There’s all kinds of scholarly interest in why, how, and what makes a fairytale. I especially liked this essay from the Wall Street Journal, In Defense of Real Fairy Tales:

The land of the fairy tale is not the external world. It is, rather, the internal one. The real Grimm fairy tale takes a child’s deepest desires and most complex fears, and it reifies them, physicalizes them, turns them into a narrative. The narrative does not belittle those fears, nor does it simplify them. But it does represent those complex fears and deep desires in a form that is digestible by the child’s mind. Sometimes I refer to this as turning tears into blood.

Read the whole thing, if you’re interested – it’s lovely. And it makes me wonder how much of our children, and ourselves, we can learn by sitting around and telling fairy tales. From another angle, here’s some more easily digestible points on telling fairy tales – 8 Reasons Why Fairy Tales are Essential to Childhood Imagination.

So, how do we start telling our own fairy tales? Jetpack and I have had fun telling stories for about as long as he’s been able to listen. We’ve told a lot of stories about him going on adventures to magical woods, generally with a wagon load of friends, to battle evil or just have a tea party – little kid fairy tales, without the above complication.

Lately, we’ve told fairy tales this way:

gamecover

PHOTO CREDIT: LEVI SABLE

It’s a board game of sorts called Fairytale Spinner Game, published by Eeboo. You have all sorts of aspects of a fairytale to put together – a hero, a magical item, a method of transportation, etc. – and then at the end, whomever wins gets to tell the story that they’ve created. It’s a ton of fun.

jetpackgame

PHOTO CREDIT: LEVI SABLE

The game is well-constructed (heavy cardboard that has already had a 90 pound dog step on it without harm) and pretty. It’s multiracial (yay!) and about the only complaint I can think of is that the rules, as written, end up with pretty slow gameplay. But you can modify them pretty easily to expedite things and get to the story telling and though I think the rules say only the winner tells a story, that’s no fun at all – everyone in our house always has. The game says it’s for ages 5+, but our 4-year-old loves it, and I’m guessing that it’d be fun with a pretty wide age range of participants.

So, go tell some stories with your kids! And listen to what stories they tell. Who knows, maybe you’ll gain some insight into their psyches…

You can purchase the game through Amazon via the VillageQ affiliate link in the sidebar or click here.

FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: AMAZON.COM

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