Every year on February 26th, Tell a Fairy Tale Day celebrates the art of storytelling. Though you may not read traditional fairy tales very often any more, chances are that many of the story threads throughout your favorite books and movies have their roots in fairy tales. Here are six ways to have fun with storytelling on Tell a Fairy Tale Day.
Take a Trip to Your Local Library
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the library, make a trip to your local branch. Take the kids and settle in for story time with some real hardback books for an hour or two. Pick out your favorite classic fairy tales, and start a conversation about how these timeless stories have influenced the movies and books that you love.
Make Fairy Tale Dice
For an easy craft project that the whole family will love, try fairy tale dice. Print out a template, cut out the dice, and even color them in if you like. Take turns rolling the dice, and do your best to weave an interesting story from the pictures that appear. Reference some of the stories you know, or if you find the classic fairy tales too dark and outdated, create an upbeat and modern tale instead. See how imaginative you can get with these basic prompts, and have fun telling a story.
Illustrate Your Own Tale
If your kids can’t get enough of visual activities, illustrate a tale of your own together. Register for a free account on a storytelling website, and get creative with the built-in artwork. Even though you don’t have to draw your own pictures from scratch, you can still let your artistic side shine. Layer as many background images, character pictures, and story elements as you want to create something that’s uniquely your own. You can invent a completely new story or collaborate with the kids to tell your version of a classic tale.
Write an Inventive Newsletter
If you have future journalists in your midst, get together to compose a fairy tale newspaper. Find a template online and insert a variety of news pieces along with updates on some of the classic stories and characters. Has Goldilocks turned into a foodie since her porridge days? Is the Big Bad Wolf still up to no good? This project can be as funny or as serious as you want it to be.
Act It Out
If your kids prefer to tell stories through movement, there’s no end to the fun you can have by acting out fairy tales. Whether they have acting chops or prefer a directorial role, compose a simple play based on a traditional story and act it out together. If a shadow puppet play is more your style, download forms and puppet shapes for help with the setup, and get creative with the acting.
Eat a Fairy Tale Snack
Food can serve as an excellent storytelling medium, too. Think about the visual elements from your favorite tales, and try to represent these in snack form. For the Three Little Pigs, find foods that can stand in for their construction materials, like pretzels for straw or fruit snacks for bricks. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try to build the candy-themed house from Hansel & Gretel.
Even though these stories can be casual and free form, the Brothers Grimm, whom we generally consider the original fairy tale weavers, were actually serious wordsmiths. This may come as no surprise, given how their tales continue to influence even the contemporary stories that we tell today. Which fairy tale best tells the story of your life?