Fairy Tales

Fairy tales, folk tales and fables may be old stories but their characters and situations still enchant today.  Spend a day with your children making fairy tales come alive with this theme day.

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.



See if you can find the old Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’  (or other artists version) song “Little Red Riding Hood” on your favorite music provider.

If you can think of any other Fairy Tale related songs (children’s or otherwise) please let me know at info@Familythemedays.ca.




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “fairy tale coloring pages” or print out my Fairy Tale Coloring Page.



Write out one or more of the following questions in the family notebook or on a piece of paper to glue in your family scrapbook:  What is your favourite fairy tale? How many fairy tales can you name? Write your own fairy tale.


 Choose the level of your child:

¨     Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer

¨     Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.

¨     Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.

¨     Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response.  (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)

¨     Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).

¨     As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write his/her own fairy tale (for a starter give them three of something other than pigs or bears).


Print out my Fairy Tale Word Search:


Easy Fairy Tale Word Search or Moderate Fairy Tale Word Search or Difficult Word Search.


Check here for the answer keys:


Easy Word Search Key or Moderate Word Search Key or Difficult Fairy Tale Word Search Key.




Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books with fairy tales in them.


Go to the library with your child to find some fairy tale books (some libraries have whole sections devoted to fairy tales from around the world).


Go to the library on your own to find fairy tale books to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (look up “Fairy Tales” under “Children’s Books” or look for individual titles of the fairy tales you remember from when you were a child).  Reserve them if you can to save time.


NOTE: For many classic fairy tales try to find compilation books Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault.


Here are some picture books of classic fairy tales and fables:


· Aesop’s Fables, by Saviour Pirotta and illustrated by Richard Johnson, Kingfisher, 2005—Eight of Aesop’s fables are retold in this beautifully illustrated book which has also included some storytelling about Aesop himself before each fable as he is presented as a narrator introducing each story and telling a bit about himself in the process.


· Beauty and the Beast, by Marianna Mayer and pictures by Mercer Mayer, Sea Star Books, 1978 – Longer text and gorgeous illustrations in this book.


·  The Emperor’s New Clothes, translated by Naomi Lewis and illustrated by Angela Barrett, Candlewick Press, 1997 - The great illustrations in t6his retelling have set the story in 1913.


· The Gingerbread Man, by Carol Jones, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002 – This retelling has the gingerbread man meeting up with nursery rhyme characters like Humpty Dumpty.  It also includes a recipe for making your own gingerbread man which we tried (delicious but we needed to add some water to combine the dough).


· Goldilocks and the Three Bears, retold by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Barbara McClintock, Scholastic Press, 2003.


· Hansel and Gretel, retold and illustrated by Jane Ray, Candlewick Press, 1997 – I love the illustrations in this retelling.


· Little Red Riding Hood, retold by Josephine Evets-Secker and illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli, Barefoot Books, 2007—I love the illustrations , especially of the wolf, in this retelling of the classic fairytale.


· The Musicians of Bremen, retold by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Segal, Simon and Schuster Books for young Readers, 1996.


· Puss in Boots, written by Philip Pullman and illustrated by Ian Beck, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000—Fun illustrations adorn this retelling.


· Rumpelstiltskin, retold and illustrated  by Paul O. Zelinsky, Dutton Children’s Books, 1986—This retellings has gorgeous classical looking paintings throughout and an interesting history of the story at the back.


· Sleeping Beauty, retold by Christine San Joséand illustrated by Dominic Catalano, Boyds Mills Press, 1997—This classic story is illustrated with mice characters making it an unique retelling.



For fairy tales you may not have heard of before look for anthologies from different countries at your library like these:


· Magical Tales from Many Lands, retold by Margaret Mayo and illustrated by Jane Ray, Dutton Children’s Books, 1993—This collection has Arabic, North American Indian, Japanese, South African, Scottish, Caribbean, French, Peruvian, Jewish, Indian, African American, Australian, Russian, and Chinese tales with many beautiful little pictures throughout.


· The Thread of Life: Twelve Old Italian Tales, retold by Domenico Vittorini and illustrated by Mary GrandPré, Crown Publishers, Inc., 1995—This beautifully illustrated book tells twelve unique tales from Italy.



For something different try these humorous twists on fairy tales:


· Cinderella Skeleton, by Robert D. San Souci and illustrated by David Catrow, Silver whistle, 2000—This unique take on the classic Cinderella story may appeal to children fascinated with monsters and ghoulish characters as the protagonist and other characters are skeletons in this rhyming tale.


· The Frog Prince Continued, by Jon Scieszka and paintings by Steve Johnson, Viking, 1991 – This funny book tells the story of the Frog Prince after he has been transformed into a prince by the princesses kiss.  In this tale, he tries to find a witch who will turn him back into a frog.


· Goldilocks Returns, by Lisa Campbell Ernst, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2000—This sequel to the three Bears story has a guilt-ridden Goldilocks return to the scene of the crime as an old woman to try to  makes amends.


· The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, as told by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith, Viking, 1989 – This humorous tale has A. Wolf reciting what really happened with the three little pigs: he was framed!




****IDEA: You may want to read each related fairy tale before making each craft.****



Materials: Brown Paper, copy of my Gingerbread  Man Template, scraps of paper of various colours, crayons and markers, child safe scissors, glue stick, face cloth for sticky fingers.


STEP 1: Cut out the gingerbread template and trace around it on a brown piece of paper (or draw your own gingerbread man outline).  We didn’t have any brown paper so we colour white paper brown using crayons.

STEP 2: Help your child cut out the outline of the gingerbread man on the brown paper.

STEP 3: Give your child markers and crayons to decorate the gingerbread man and/or bits of coloured paper to make your own decorations (shapes) to glue on the paper.

STEP 4: Display or glue in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.





Materials: paper towel tube, green craft paper, other coloured craft paper, crayons and markers, child safe scissors, glue stick, clear tape, face cloth for sticky fingers.


STEP 1: Add glue from a glue stick to a sheet of green paper and cover a paper towel roll to make it green. Reinforce the seam using clear tape to keep it from peeling.

STEP 2: Fold another sheet of green paper four times and draw the outline of leaves on the top fold.

STEP 3: Help your child cut out the leaves (by folding the paper you can cut out many leaves at the same time).

STEP 4: Make four 2 inch cuts on one end of the paper towel tube and bend them outward to make the tube stand up on its own.

STEP 5: Have your child apply glue to the leaves and stick them on the paper towel tube.

STEP 6: Have your child draw a picture of Jack on paper and cut him out, or cut out body parts from coloured paper and assemble jack by gluing.

STEP 5: Glue Jack on the paper towel tube beanstalk as if he were climbing it.




Materials: Pre-cut craft foam pieces (or sheets of coloured foam that you or your children can cut out into different shapes), white glue (if the foam sheets do not have sticker backings), coloured markers, drinking straws or popsicle sticks, tape, face cloth for sticky fingers.

Step 1: Have your child determine what fairy tale he/she would like to act out using puppets and that will determine what characters you need to make.

Step 2: Using pre-cut craft foam pieces or pieces you or your child has shaped with child-safe scissors, make faces of each character. Glue or stick pieces on for eyes, nose, mouth etc..

Step 3: Tape a straw or popsicle stick to the back side of each character.

Step 4: Let dry, if necessary.

Step 5: Use the characters to act out the fairy tale.




Three Bears Porridge – make homemade or packaged oatmeal to please the little bears in your house.



Little Red’s Basket of Goodies:  Bake your child’s favourite goodies together (muffins, cookies, squares).  You could even take them over to grandma’s house.



Cinderella’s Pumpkin Soup – what did Cinderella do with the leftover pumpkin from her carriage ride? She made some pumpkin soup!  Buy some store-bought pumpkin or squash soup or make your own by baking a pumpkin or squash and then puréeing the cooked vegetable and adding broth.



Jack in the Beanstalk Chili – Make a bean chili in honour of young jack.



Hansel and Gretel’s Gingerbread house – in late November and in December you can usually find gingerbread house kits that have the walls already made and include candy and icing; or you can make your own from scratch by finding a recipe online or in your favourite cookbook.


Hansel and Gretel’s Gingersnap Cookies – if a whole house is too much work to make bake or buy some gingersnaps.


Make a large Gingerbread Man Cookie.




Print out a copy of my Where in the World Fairy Tale Match to guess where some famous fairy tales originated.  Then check the Where In the World Answer Key to see if you were correct.

Look up each county in an Atlas or Globe to discover where these stories came from.


Check on Wikipedia to read what exactly a fairy tale is:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_tale


Look up these storytellers: Hans Christian Andersen—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen

The Brothers Grimm—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brothers_Grimm

Charles Perrault—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Perrault



Older siblings might enjoy this site which has lots of written information on the history of fairy tales—http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/






Print out my Fairy Tale and Fable Titles sheet.  Cut out the titles and put the slips of paper in an empty jar or a paper bag.  Have each family member take turns pulling a slip of paper out of the jar or bag then miming actions for the rest of the family to guess which story it is.  Play in teams if you have children who are not able to read yet.



Q:  What is the name of the fairy tale about a beautiful princess who cries a lot?

A:  Weeping Beauty


Q: What kind of security did the three bears install in their house?

A: A Goldi –lock


Q: What does the Giant in Jack in the beanstalk say when he is bored?

A: Fee-fie-ho-hum


Q: What dance did the Tin Soldier take the paper Ballerina to?

A: The Cannon Ball





If your child has any musical instruments take them out and make your own Breman Musician Band like the animals from the fairy tale.





Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite fairy tale shows:

For young children try to find these titles:

· Dora the Explorer: Fairytale Adventure

·  Sesame Street: Big Bird’s Story Time


For some classic children’s movie titles try these movies:


Cinderella; Snow White; Beauty and the Beast; The Little Mermaid; and Sleeping Beauty etc.


For a different fairy tale twist try these titles:


· Enchanted

· Hoodwinked

· The Princess Bride



Some local theatres or libraries put on puppet shows of fairy tales. If you can find one attend that for some Fairy Tale entertainment.


Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

 was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland


Paper Gingerbread Men

Paper Towel Roll Beanstalks

Craft Foam Fairy Tale Puppets

Little Red Riding Hood’s basket of goodies

A big Gingerbread Man Cookie

Sticker Pictures

Photo: C Wright