How to Tell the Story of Pandora's Box to Children

Updated April 17, 2017

The story of Pandora's Box is one of the most well-known tales of Greek Mythology. On the bright side, poor curious Pandora shut the lid before hope escaped. On the negative side, she unleashed all the evil in the jar out into the world. Many fairy tales, myths and legends can be scary to small children if not altered by adults to make them more child-friendly. The Greek myth of Pandora's Box is a story that deals with some adult themes, like the knowledge that there is evil in the world, but that there is also hope. Here are a few things you should think about when preparing to tell this story to a child.

Use your best judgment when telling stories like Pandora's Box to children. The older a child is the more likely that he will be able to understand that this story is only a story. An older child will also be able to understand the story's themes better, since they can put them into context, in light of ideas he has already encountered.

Simplify the story. Use fewer frightening words. Instead of saying there was evil in the jar, say that there was a bad feeling, like stinginess or jealousy, that was suppose to remain in the box. Most children will ask you why a specific thing happened in a story. Doing your best to anticipate these questions before sitting down to tell a story is a good idea. Keep in mind, just because you change the story to make it less scary doesn't mean you have to take out what makes it interesting or exciting. When your child gets a bit older, she can read or listen to the less sanitised version than the one she was told before.

Remember to be ready to explain the moral of the story. The moral lesson that can be taken from this story is that there are bad things that happen in the world, but there is also good, and even though something made you sad today, tomorrow you can still "hope" that something good will happen. Another lesson that could be taken from this story is that while being curious can be a good thing, when mom or dad tells you not to do something, it is important to remember the lesson of Pandora and not let your curiosity get the better of you.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.