Nurture their imagination.
As Albert Einstein put it: "Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life’s coming attractions.”
Therefore we should encourage a child’s imagination. We are passionate about getting kids to dream big and articulate those dreams. We are always looking for ways to help parents nurture the development of their child’s imagination. One way of exercising children's imagination ‘muscles’ is for parents to sit with their child and draft a fairy story.
It will depend on your child’s abilities and their age as to how much autonomy they have in this process - but even children as young as five can help their parents create a wicked fairy tale that is a product of both child and parent. Something they have created together. Something to be proud of. These steps below should assist you in creating the first draft of a fairy story. These steps may take weeks, or even months. It is something that should be chipped away at. No masterpiece was created in one sitting.
Get your child to think about the fairy tales they know. Discuss with them the similarities in each fairy tale.
2. Develop a main character:
Character is very important to fairy tales. Every fairy tale has a 'dark' character and a 'light' character, symbolising the fight of good Vs evil. Discuss this idea of ‘dark and ‘light’ with your child. Ask them to list attributes of a ‘dark’ character and attributes of a ‘light’ character.
3. Find a place:
Setting is equally important. Fairy Tales are set in places which will help the story achieve a certain tone, an enchanted wood provides a happy, peaceful setting, while a haunted forest will provide the backdrop for a much darker tale. Ask your child to describe their setting. Encourage them to use descriptive language, what does it look like, sound like, feel like, smell like etc?
4. Think about time:
Once upon a time is the time frame for your usual fairy tale. When exactly is ‘once upon a time’? Ask your child to think about when they would like their fairy tale to be set. It may be an imaginary time. The point is to get them imagining and describing.
5. Decide on plot.
A basic plot for a story is set to a triangle. This enables the reader to follow the rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. Write up a story triangle for your fairy tale.
Well that’s totally up to you and your child. You may want to:
- Take some time out, once a week with your child to write your first draft.
- Hand the project over to your child completely and get them to make their first draft.
- For the visual learners - encourage your child to create artworks depicting the ideas in your plan.
- For the auditory learners - let them talk it out. Use your phone recording function and let your child tell the story as a pod cast.
Imagination is important it as fuels our dreams and desires.
Imagination allows us to think of inventive solutions to problems, it enables us to aim for goals others would not have even considered and it gives us hope in time of struggle. Imagination is developed, it’s nurtured and prioritised. Activities like ‘Build your own Fairy Tale’ allows that development to be something that child and parent nurture together.