Did you know that there was such a thing as Fairy Tale Day? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The origins of the holiday are unclear, and it may have been something that was started by local libraries or bookstores. Whatever the reasons for its existence, Fairy Tale Day is February 26th, and it seems like a great holiday to celebrate. Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? To celebrate the day, you and your kids can read fairy tales together, create your own fairy tale together, or do some fairy tale related arts and crafts together. Or you can do all of those things. Get ready to spend a day “once upon a time, in a land far, far away”.
- Read a favorite, then try something new. I propose that you and your children read at least two fairy tales on Fairy Tale Day. First read an old favorite. There are fairy tales that everyone is familiar with: Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel. Then there are those that are more obscure. Try one that you’ve never read before (or, if you’re particularly well-versed in fairy tales, at least pick one that is new to your children.) For instance, do you know The Old Woman in the Wood, or The Seven Ravens? How about The Valiant Little Tailor, or The Tinder-Box? These are all readily available online for free, so choose one you that’s new to you and enjoy.
- Write your own fairy tale. If your children are small, you’ll probably have to do the writing, or, in the great tradition of oral storytelling, you can record your fairy tale and have everybody speak their parts. Begin with “Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a…” and let your child take it from there. When she runs out of ideas or completes a thought, let the next child take up the story, or if it’s just you and one child, the two of you can take turns. Keep going until you have a whole story that you can end with the words “…and they lived happily ever after.”
- Draw a fairy tale. Fairy tales make for fun arts and crafts. Who doesn’t want to draw or create princes and princesses, knights and dragons, or wizards and fairies? Have your kids draw and decorate a favorite scene from a fairy tale you read, or from the one you made up. Or have them make their favorite fairy tale characters out of clay, and act out a scene or two from the story. You can help your little prince or princess make a crown or tiara out of construction paper and glitter, or make a model castle from cardboard. There is really no end to the fun fairy tale-themed craft projects that you could come up with, so just pick the ones that most interest your child.
Fairy tales don’t really have to begin with “once upon a time”, though they often do. However, fairy tales for kids should always have a happy ending – that’s why kids (and adults) enjoy them so much. A happy ending is definitely something to celebrate, so take February 26th, and celebrate the magic of fairy tales with your kids.