Julio finished reading a book of fairy tales to the kids and mentioned how scary some of them were. I had picked the book out from the library and couldn’t really censor it because it was all in Spanish. But, depending on the version, fairy tales really can be quite disturbing. A wolf instead of a grandma? A witch that wants to eat little kids? Poisonous apples? Terrifying, really.
Last year, on one of my mom’s trips across country to visit us, she introduced my kids to The Wizard of Oz. No books or movies needed, just Grandma. She had the kids captivated. They couldn’t get enough (night after night she told it) and after she left they ended up listening to the original story on audiobook, listening to me read a shorter version, and watching the movie. If we skipped the storytelling-by-Grandma-part I’m sure they wouldn’t have listened to the audiobook or cared to see the movie (or at least it wouldn’t have been so memorable!). The storytelling had been what was able to spark their interest.
For younger kids especially, I think classic fairy tales can be shared the best with oral storytelling. Here’s a few reasons why.
- You can alter the story however you want to make it less scary.
- You can make the story more personal (with names, locations, etc.).
- If it’s bedtime you can make the story really short.
- If you’re in the waiting room, or on a long road trip, or don’t care about getting out of their room at night (I’m not sure who this might apply to) you can make the story really long.
- You can tell the story in another language. (Well, I can’t since I am not bilingual, but I think it’s a great opportunity for those who are.)
Pictures from this post are from our trip to Fairyland both this month and last fall. It’s a great place to go for fairy tales to come to life.