Apparently, this coming Sunday is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. I found this great site for some storytelling/teaching resources.
A lot of kids grow up and never hear the original, un-Disney-fied versions of classic fairy tales that have traditionally been passed down from generation to generation. Some of them are scary, but they were meant to be, because they were actually designed to not only entertain, but to also teach children about the dangers of the world around them, and show how to overcome them. Today, particularly in western culture, parents are caught in a Catch-22 of attempting to keep our kids safely locked up in their homes where even if we talk about the dangers of the world, we don’t show them how to survive in it. Fairy tales often empower kids to overcome the evil step-mother or the conniving wolf out to eat them up. In my mind, fairy tales are an essential parenting tool for helping kids discover themselves.
For some fun, Imagine Toys has a fun list of stories and activities to do with your kids to celebrate.
Here’s a site for find other “holidays” throughout the year.
Last night I performed the second of two “Reading Adventure Nights” at Lewis & Clark Elementary. What a blast! About 80 kids celebrated the joys of reading and storytelling by playing games, reading stories, participating in Reader’s Theater, and getting to hear “Farmer Eric” tell stories of vegetables and grow a flowering vine out of a cereal box from “magic seeds.” I love the combination of stories and a wee bit of magic. For the two 30-minute programs, I shared Eric Kimmel’s wonderful version of “Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock,” a story from Caroline Feller Bauer’s excellent book, “New Handbook for Storytellers” called “Cheese, Peas, and Chocolate Pudding” that I personalized a bit, and a wonderfully fun magic trick/story from her other book, “Leading Kids to Books through Magic” that I tweaked to call “Fresh Veggies Sold Here Today” that just left the kids mystified. I finished up with a short African tale from Heather Forest’s book, “WonderTales from Around the World” called “Talk, Talk” that includes a talking yam. Definitely a fun, veggie-centered evening had by all.
Working on getting this new site up and running, just one of many initial steps as I journey into the world of storytelling. I am looking forward to entering into the company of so many fabulous storytellers who keep the oral tradition alive and introduce children, families, and adults to the world of imagination and literacy.