I am a huge fan of fairy tales. The old gruesome ones and the newer, cleaned up, versions. They entertain, teach lessons, and introduce readers to a different time and to different worlds. Everyone knows that you should start reading to your children while they are infants. They get a sense of rhythm, hear new words, and learn that reading is a fun and bonding activity. As your child gets a little older and is able to start picking out which books he/she likes more it may be time to be more interactive with your reading.
There’s a lot you can do to really bring fairy tales to life.
Fairy Tale Prop Baskets: I have heard of this idea and the blog Ready-Set-Read has some good pictures of different prop baskets you can use. She turned it into kind of a guessing game for the child by getting some items and asking them which character do they think left those items. You can also get props that match things which will happen in the story and when the item have your child pick it out. For example, if you have a mirror and get to the part in a fairy tale that mentions a mirror ask your child to take the item.
Theater!: If your child knows a certain tale by heart or has a favorite, why not act it out? You might feel kind of silly at first but once you see your kid getting into it you will too.
You might also have to be more than one character but who cares. If your child seems to really get into it why not let them act it out in front of someone? Mom, dad, grandparents, neighbors, whoever.
Word Find: I really liked this project I found on First.Grade.W.O.W. The students read a fairy tale (they used Cinderella) and made an acrostic poem with the word STORIES. They had to find a word in the fairy tale that started with each letter. You can change it up and use FAIRY, MAGIC, BELIEVE, whatever you want. In this project, they also had a craft to go along with the acrostic poem making it good for visual learners.
Snacks!: Every kid likes snacks. I think it’s safe to assume that every adult likes snacks too. Make snacks that correlate to the fairy tale you will be reading. If you’re going to read “Jack and the Beanstalk” make something with beans, like a chili. If you’re going to read “Little Red Riding Hood” cut up some red apples or make apple muffins (same for Snow White I would think). If you’re reading “The Three Little Pigs” give them some pretzel sticks and maybe marshmallows and have them try to build a house.
Journaling: Fairy tales are a great reason for journaling, creative thinking, and discussion. If your child is old enough to write they can start with “If I had a fairy godmother…” or “If I had magic beans they would…” ect. If they are too young to write just ask them. Maybe they can draw something they would want their magic beans to do.
There really is A LOT you can do with fairy tales to make them more exciting and inviting to our young readers.