The importance of fairy tales -

The importance of fairy tales

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Albert Einstein. 

Fairy tales have a lot to offer to children. They play a significant role in a child’s growth, particularly in their moral and conscious development.

According to Carl Jung’s interpretation, fairy tales show kids how to handle basic human conflicts, needs, and relationships. Having these abilities may eventually affect their health and quality of life, as well as their future values and views.

What are fairy tales?

“A fairy tale (alternative names include fairytale, fairy story, magical tale, or wonder tale) is a short story that belongs to the folklore genre. Such stories typically feature magic, enchantments, and mythical or fanciful beings.” (Wikipedia)

The importance of storytelling

Early literacy development

Children can participate in a conversation about how the fantasy worlds in these tales can differ from or be similar to our world. Your interactions with the children will help them communicate their ideas more easily. According to studies, a child’s vocabulary can be expanded through regular storytelling activities. Fairy tales are not only a basis for children’s literacy development, but they also emphasize a variety of cross-cultural values and behaviours.

Problem-solving and building resilience

Typically, children don’t know how to handle conflicts, human relationships, or desires. A positive approach to resolving these problems is presented in fairy tales. By guiding them in making connections between the stories and actual problems, where the hero typically succeeds, fairy tales can help promote the growth of emotional resilience in children. Also, it shapes the child’s personality and teaches them how to think critically.

Deepens the relationship between the child and the parent

Reading to your child before bed allows you to spend time with them while they have all your attention. Listening to a fairy tale triggers the psychological processes they need for healthy development.

Gives the child the opportunity to use their imagination

While storytelling, the child should use their imagination, creating characters, places, and situations according to their own ideas. It does not provide us with templates or prefabricated visual experiences like mass media such as television and cinema do.

Fairy tales teach the basics of a story

Fairy tales are great tools for teaching kids about story development, conflict resolution, the development of characters, heroes and villains, and simply broadening their imagination. Furthermore, it helps them differentiate between fiction and non-fiction stories.

The importance of fairy tales -

Different age groups

Birth-6 months

  • Since the roots of language are developing in a baby’s brain even before they begin to speak, it is crucial to start early. 
  • Read thick board books, plush fabric books, or vinyl bath books early on.

6-9 months

  • Tell them short and simple stories with eye-catching illustrations; board books are ideal.
  • Babies begin to be interested in books as toys to study and manipulate at the age of six to twelve months. To maintain their interest, expose them to cloth or board books with features like flaps, textures like a bit of fur or rubber on the page, crinkle pages, or electrical buttons.
  • Picture books with only one word per page can help infants develop their first words vocabulary.

9–18 months

  • Your child will also pay attention to stories that rhyme and have repetitive language.
  • This age group also enjoys stories that include illustrations of other babies, certain objects, and animals.
  • You can expect your child’s response to involve pointing, hand gestures, different sounds, or imitating different words.
  • By the time they are 12 months old, babies can point when asked, “Where is the ice cream?”

18–24 months

  • Show them longer stories with more difficult plots (perhaps on paper pages, but monitor the children carefully).
  • At this age, humour and goofy rhymes are major selling points.
  • Because of their natural rhythm, nursery rhymes are fantastic for children.
  • Books should also be colourful, offer one picture per page, and have thick pages to help turn the page easier.

24–36 months

  • Books with regular pages and those that have an engaging plot
  • Non-fiction stories—such as a book about construction vehicles, stories about animals or seasons, or books that discuss jobs such as a doctor or postman. 

2 years old

  • Children’s books with normal page counts and fascinating stories.
  • Non-fiction books, such as those that discuss professions like doctors and nurses, animals or seasons, or books about fire trucks.
  • Ask them to tell you what happens next after you finish a book so they know the plot.
  • Alternatively, you can connect the content and the outside world by saying something like, “A kitten!” “Exactly like ours!”
  • Try to ignore the text as you turn to a new page and instead pause to observe what your child says.

3 years old

  • Children this age are moving on to actual stories with straightforward plots; they seek out books where the main character faces a problem, attempts to solve it, and succeeds.
  • You can also introduce your child to non-fiction books that educate young readers on subjects like the solar system and dinosaurs.
  • If a page in the book contains many images, point to the one that best represents what you’re discussing so your child understands it well.
  • If there is only one picture on each page, consider pointing at the words rather than the picture to teach children how to read from left to right and top to bottom.
  • If a term you come across is unfamiliar to your child, take a moment to explain it.
  • You can talk about how the characters feel and then connect it to the real world.

4 and 5 years old

  • Stories that feature various themes, storylines, and people with opposing motivations.
  • You can concentrate on pre-reading abilities to teach kids the significance of words and how to focus on the text.
  • Point out rhymed sentences and the ones that alliterate (words starting with the same letter or sound).
  • Have your children predict what will happen next.

6 years old and up

  • Continue reading to them!
  • Search for chapter books that don’t have many or any illustrations at all. They’re an excellent tool to introduce kids to more complex narratives and an advanced vocabulary.
  • Continue discussing what you are reading with your children and bring up how it connects to their lives and knowledge about the world.
The importance of fairy tales -

What types of books should I buy?

Ask yourself these questions:

Are these books age-appropriate?
Check the recommended ages and educational aspects of your picks.

Is the book easy to read?
It’s okay to introduce them to more advanced vocabulary. But if you know that the vocabulary and concepts will be too challenging for them to enjoy the story, pick a book that is easier for them to read instead of discouraging them from reading.

What will my child learn from these books?
Books for babies and preschoolers tend to focus on basic concepts, like ABCs, feelings, or friendship, as well as repetition, phonics, and other literacy tools to prepare them for reading. For an older child, consider how a book will develop their comprehension and vocabulary and the themes and possibilities they’ll learn through reading.

Will my child find the text and illustrations of these book recommendations appealing?
This is a genuine reaction. Look for eye-catching illustrations and popular characters that will hold their attention in picture books. To learn about popular children’s books, speak with your child’s teacher, the local library, or other parents. As an alternative, go online for listings of children’s books that have won awards or visit book review websites to see what other parents are recommending.

Are these books easy to relate to?
Your child will be more motivated to finish reading the book if the characters have hopes and desires, similar to their own, even if the story takes place in a fantasy world of fairies and monsters.

Does this book teach kids important things?
The best books frequently teach us things without us even realizing it, whether it’s a timeless moral or information about numbers, fruit, and days of the week. Choose books that convey a powerful message or subtly teach basic knowledge, such as the alphabet, numbers, colours, or seasons.

The importance of fairy tales -

How to read fairy tales?

  • It’s worth finding time before bedtime to tell stories in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Snuggle up with your child, let them close to you, or lie comfortably in their cot where they feel safe and can fully immerse themselves in the story.
  • What about what happened to you today? Children will be more engaged by stories that they can quickly relate to familiar locations and circumstances.
  • A child won’t be able to take their eyes off you when you tell even the simplest of tales while using gestures, emotions, hilarious sounds, jumping, crawling, and dancing. Loud laughter is almost always guaranteed.
  • Instead of overdramatizing a scary character, read the story in a relaxed manner.
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