Fairy tales are wonderful tools for cultivating virtue. Kids love them. They are saturated with truth, goodness, and beauty. They offer so much inspiration for fun and play that they make the perfect jumping off point for so many fun hands-on learning station ideas.
I'm focusing on Language Arts this week in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning Stations series, and today is all about fun with fairy tales.
Fairy tales are a kids favorite. It doesn't take much to get them engaged with a story. When they are engaged in a story, they are learning more about characters, virtue, plot, conflict, and resolution. Reading a fairy tale gets you familiar with the story, but playing with a fairy tale emmerses you into the essence of the narrative. Here are a few simple ways to engage with fairy tales:
Act Out a Fairy Tale
Take a familiar story and challenge kids to bring it to life. Kids don't have any problem acting out all of the roles in a story. They can dress themselves up for the story, or they could use stick puppets, Lego characters, or stuffed animals to help tell their story.
Give the student options for stories to retell. If they pick one they love, they'll be more interested in bringing it to life! Here are some great choices:
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Little Red Hen
- The Three Little Pigs
- Three Billy Goats Gruff
If you have a couple of students at a station, they can read the fairy tale aloud together as a reader's theater. All you need to do is choose who will play each character, and then pick a narrator. The narrator reads all of the non quote sections, then the others read what their characters say in the story. This is a fun and engaging way to practice reading aloud together. It keeps all parties engaged in the story, and it's a lot of fun!
Multi-Sensory Fairy Tale Activites
To help kids activate their imaginations, sometimes you need to engage their senses in the stories they are reading. Here are some super fun ideas:
- Fairy Tale Action Cards - These action cards take a familiar fairy tale character and invite kids to act out their favorite stories while being completely active. It's a great change of pace from sitting still and working.
- The Three Little Pigs Playdough - I'll have to be honest: this looks so fun! It would have to be an outdoor station at my house, because it's so messy, but kids would LOVE it. Use playdough to attach straw and sticks to a brick. Kids get to experience the textures and materials from one of their favorite stories.
- Story Telling Basket of the Three Billy Goats Gruff
- Jack and the Beanstalk Sensory Bin and Story Retelling Activity - This looks like a great project for using those left over paper towel rolls and oatmeal can I've been saving. Fun to make, and fun to tell.
- Nursery Rhyme Yoga Poses - Why not incorporate a little stretching in with your fairy tale love? My youngest would get a kick out of these nursery rhyme yoga ideas, but I have another who would probably rather not!
Fairy tales are just so much fun for kids. They offer such great opportunities for expression, imagination, and enjoyment. It's great to have stations that allow for playing while kids learn. You can't always do that, so why not take advantage of it when you can!
What are some of your kid's favorite fairy tales?
Check out more hands-on learning stations inspiration in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning series! Check out these other Language Arts station ideas: