Saturday, May 19, 2012

More about fairytales and fantasy

I had an interesting comment from reader Sherlyn on my post "Fairytales and Fantasy" - she said that her son's paediatrician had recommended more pretend play to help her 20 month-old son in his speech development. I would agree. When I last saw the boy I mentioned in my post (who dislikes pretend play and other creative pursuits), he was about 37 months old and had been attending pre-school and a couple of enrichment classes for some time, but he was still unable to string more than two words together on his own, without copying or echoing something he had heard.

As a more positive example of how pretend play and fantasy does help in speech and expression, I want to introduce you lovelies to this really wonderful blog called My Amazing Days. It's expertly written by an adorable girl called Rebecca, who is about 7 or 8 years old.

I thought of Rebecca's blog because she has an ongoing series of posts where she invents and authors stories about the adventures of the animal characters in her Sylvanian Family collection. Rebecca (and her sister) engage in a lot of pretend play with their collection. The stories spring from a wonderfully rich imagination which is able to imagine scenarios grounded in both fantasy and reality. The vocabulary, the sentence structure, the syntax, the pace, the various adventures that the characters get into, the emotional responses of the characters, the response that the story elicits from the reader (suspense, relief, intrigue), the creativity that makes it "unique", the consistency across the chain of posts - everything is just perfect. Have a read and you'll see what I mean.

I would think that Rebecca's creative talents were, and are, nurtured by her mother, Janice, who obviously has a deep appreciation for the value of a good story, fantasy-based or otherwise. The apple of creativity certainly did not fall far from the tree in this case. Apart from keeping a vast library of good literary stock and doing some writing/editing/illustrating, her mother also makes little handmade toys and other handmade creations which she sells through her online Etsy shop Bikbik and Roro. Janice says in this  2010 interview by Bloesem Kids that she and her two daughters often take on many creative art and craft projects at home like drawing, painting, clay sculpting and origami.

I should mention too that Janice and her daughters are all very pretty!

Another thing I want to share with you is some home learning materials from Montessori 123 which is based on, you guessed it - fairytales (and nursery rhymes)! The activity is to match a card with text with a card with a picture. The description of the activity is as follows:

"These riddle stories are designed for those students who are just starting to read simple stories. The familiar nursery rhymes and fairy tales provide a structure and context that makes the reading task easier. When the child matches the text card with photograph cards that are described in the text, they are working on important reading comprehension skills."

The third thing I want to share is this post from Teacher Tom, a pre-school teacher who runs a progressive play-based cooperative pre-school in the USA. The post is called The Troll. I won't give you any spoilers save to say that I was amazed to see the troll! Do have a read!

I still have so much to share about the value of fairytales and fantasy and their importance in our children's lives, but I'll restrain myself and end with this post from No Time for Flashcards titled "Positive Princess Books for Kids". If your child is fantasising about princesses and fairytales involving princesses, this post will give you some great recommendations for books with stories about princesses, with lots of positive messages for him/her.

Hope you enjoy these little sharings and hope you have a great weekend! We have another busy weekend planned, so there will be some interesting stuff to share next week!


Sherlyn said...

Thanks for sharing!


O my goodness!! I didn't know! Aw, thank you so much -- and Rebecca will be thrilled. One day we should do lunch ;)

Pinkie Pirate said...

Lunch one day sounds like a good idea!

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