Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fairy Tales

I read this quote awhile back and wanted to share it here.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
-G.K. Chesterton

I know there are widely varying opinions on the role fairy tales should take in a child's life and education, but I came across a few more quotes worthy of consideration while researching.

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.

And yet one more from arguably the most brilliant man of modern times:

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me
than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.
-Albert Einstein

We have so enjoyed our readings of Aesop's Fables this year. I have learned as much as the boys as I was only exposed to the most common of these in my own education. I am looking forward to reading and learning from fairy tales next year! Please leave a comment if you have any favorite collections/versions or other resources you would like to share.



Sheryl said...


I am BIG on imagination and fantasy. I think we have to give the gift of a good imagination to our kids by teaching how to think this way. That's why in about 10 minutes I have a date with two little pirates on their "ship" outside. We will be attacking the other pirate ship with water bombs(balloons). I don't have any specific recommendation except to say that it is fun to read the many different versions of a particular fairytale and compare. I did this with my 2nd grade class one year with Little Red Riding Hood. There are also some great fairytales from around the world as I'm sure you've come across with SOTW anicients. Have a great time escaping to a fairytale world next year.
SHeryl in Ga

fortyb4forty said...

I just found your blog, thank you for sharing this. I love the quotes.

Bella Art Girl said...

Oooh I love the Chesterton quote and since we have had some interesting conversations with our daughter about fiction/non fiction and our faith I find that quote even more interesting. Thanks

Caryn said...

Jennefer, I have always been "afraid" of fairy tales and fantasy, in spite of the fact that I grew up with it.

I think part of that is that somehow modern fairy tales/fantasy has been mixed with and distorted by horror and evil.

Thank you for the reminder that there is more to fairy tales than just reading fairy tales...

my5wolfcubs said...

I just got my 8yob some fairy tale books to read to himself from the library -- a series called "Favorite Fairy Tales Told in ________" retold by Virginia Haviland. We have Germany, Poland, India and Spain...and there were a lot more on the shelf. He is loving them! I've got the German one in front of me, it is 93 pages & has 7 chapters (one for each tale). This one was originally published in 1959.

thebookbaglady said...

I recently found your blog and really enjoy it. I love fairy tales as well! Here's a fun activity--'The Jolly Postman Or Other People's Letters' is great fun to use with fairy tales. For writing you can have your kids do letter writing and add their letters to The Jolly Postman book.

I have been thinking about how I need to play more games with my kids. They have such great educational/fun potential.

Rachel said...

I can't wait to read your ideas for fairy tales for next year. Elizabeth Foss' site has some good resources, too! I love the quotes you included in your post, thanks for sharing them!


Shelly said...

Haven't been by your blog in so long--I enjoy it, tho. Wanted to add that I just read a great book called Tending the Heart of Virtue--How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Imagination. It was in my library here in Ft. Bend Co. I think I'm going to use it as a guide to which fun stories we'll do for RA's some time during our day. Thought it might give you some more inspiration on great fantasy/fairy tale stories that your boys would enjoy.