Last week we were challenged to write our own fairy tale. I wasn't entirely sure that the boy would be up for it, but we decided to choose some characters from the toy box before we went outside to the woods to think of a story. I think having the characters ready helped with the thought process and I was incredibly impressed with what the boy came up with. More of that shortly!
When I was younger, one of my absolute favourite books was The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I love that at the top of the tree was a different land each time. I have always had quite an active imagination, and I am sure that this was helped by the books I read as a child.
Forest Holidays are currently running a project to encourage children to leave technology behind and release their imaginations by thinking up their own fairy tales. As you all know, we live in the Yorkshire Dales, a wonderful part of the world, and we are spoilt for choice for fantastic locations to come up with stories.
Jules Miller, the author of Ellie and the Tooth Fairy and When Night Became Day has written an article for Forest Holidays on Forestipedia about why the forest is the perfect setting for telling stories and tips to help children write their own fairy tales.
So despite some attempted sabotage from the girl, the boy managed to tell a story through staging the scene and me taking pictures. Afterwards he told the story to me and I typed it up. Here it is. The boy's first ever story, age 5....
Once upon a time there was a man walking along in the forest and a tiger who is hiding in the grass.
Then the tiger jumped out of the grass and killed the man and then a policeman came.
The policeman came and got the tiger.
Then a fairy arrived on a flying turtle.
Then she put the man on the flying turtle to take him to make him better.
She took him to her home in the forest.
Then the fairy did some magic and the man came back to life.
The man and the policeman said "bye-bye" to the fairy and her turtle.
Then they flew back through the forest on a flying conker leaf.
The policeman went back to his tree house. They all lived happily ever after, apart from the tiger, which was dead.
I was quite impressed with the story he told through the characters and the pictures. It all came out of his own imagination, which it was a real pleasure to tap into. I would advise you to go and make up your very own fairy tale with your children. It doesn't take long, but it is wonderful what they can produce.
Disclosure: We received a selection of books from Forest Holidays to prompt us in our story writing for National Share a Story Month, but this had no impact on the post, which is honest and fair.