Fairy tales are full of mystical creatures and heroes, so they can teach preschoolers about imagination. These tales aren't only good for story time, however. Continue the fairy tale theme by encouraging children to make crafts inspired by these stories. When you display these crafts, children will feel proud of the work they created.
Creating props for their favourite fairy tale characters forces children to think critically about these stories. Encourage children to make props that the characters in the story would use. They will need to consider what they've learnt about each character in order to decide what she needs. Give children shoe boxes to turn into small replicas of what they imagine each character's home to look like. Children may also create props out of clay by forming a car that the characters might drive or clothes that they might wear.
Most preschoolers love playing pretend, and these activities allow children to use their imaginations and creativity. Help children turn themselves into fairy tale characters by creating costume pieces for themselves. Cut paper plates in half and tie on elastic headbands to turn the plates into masks. Cut two eye holes in each mask and invite children to decorate their masks to resemble a character. Children can also act out entire fairy tales using their hands. Ask each child to bring in an old knit glove. Help children cut out pictures of characters and glue one to each glove finger tip. When children wear their gloves, they can act out the story by moving one character at a time.
Matching games are not only enjoyable, but also help preschoolers build their memories. Give each child 10 small cards. Choose five fairy tales to use and create a list of the story's main characters and an item from each story. Write one of these names on each card. For instance, if you're using the Three Little Pigs you might write "Pigs" on one card and "Brick House" on another card. Ask children to decorate each card, then spread the cards out face down. Each child can play a game of Memory using his own set of cards. He must turn over the cards, two at a time, until he pairs up all the matches.
Any time preschoolers explore or create their own books, they learn a little bit more about literacy and writing. Ask each child to create his own book about a fairy tale. You may either ask children to simply create their own illustrations to accompany the original story, or create entirely new stories featuring fairy tale characters. If children are creating their own stories, ask them to describe to you what's happening in each picture so you can write a caption for each page. Staple each child's book together and put it on display in the classroom.
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