How to help your child write a fantastic fairytale!
Writing fairy tales
It is often claimed that Albert Einstein once said, “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.”
Fairy tales are the most common type of bedtime story and therefore many children are introduced to them a long time before they can read them themselves. Unsurprisingly, fairy tales are hugely popular amongst children. They are magical and have imaginary being and lands. They typically feature princes and princesses, dragons, fairies, gnomes, giants, elves, talking animals and witches; lots of things to get our children's imaginations firing!
Importantly though, fairy tales are often blessed with unusual happiness, with ‘fairy-tale endings’ and are usually quite far fetched. Fairy tales thus allow children a safe place to explore the idea that life is not always easy and things can go wrong. The good characters are usually rewarded at the end and this reinforces positivity and the importance of being kind and thoughtful.
Fairy tales foster imagination and when children write them themselves, they can come up with endless fantasies and characters, which really helps develop their creative writing skills.
So why not task your child with writing their very own fairy tale with my top prompts below and see where their imagination takes them!
Every story needs a title! Something that will suit the story and stand out from the rest. Here are some examples of famous ones:
Pinocchio - an unusual name
The enormous turnip - something funny
Treasure Island - sounds exciting
Black Beauty - words that begin with the same letter
Think about what characters you want in your story and how you would describe them to somebody else. Make up some names for them and describe what they look like and how they act. Use describing words to bring them to life such as strong, stubborn, loud, friendly, magical.
Create a scene
Think about where the story is based, what would the views be like, what buildings are there? Who lives there? What can you hear, smell and see? Some popular setting ideas are:
A magical kingdom
In the woods
In a forest
In a castle
A story needs a beginning and there are lots of ways to start a story but fairy tales often start with one of these:
Once upon a time, there lived…
Long ago, there was…
In a land far, far away…
This is the main part of the story, which is usually about a journey and is very exciting. What happens to the characters? You can use phrases throughout to link up the parts of the journey such as:
As night fell
As if by magic
Fairy tales often end with a problem being solved or a plan working out. To finish off the story, you can make them funny or surprising. You can use phrases such as:
They all lived happily ever after
As for the dragon…
The crowd roared when finally…
I would love to see some of the fairy tales your children come up with, so send me any and I will share them on my social media!