Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about fairy tales
Check here for a complete list of Fairy Tale Books!
Queen of Hearts Nursery Rhyme
The queen of hearts,
She made some tarts
All on a summer’s day.
The knave of hearts,
He stole those tarts
And took them clean away.
Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocketful of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing.
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
To set before the king?
Look for the Crowns Grid Game on the Grid Games page.
Red Riding Hood Path Game
Look for the Fairy Tale cards on the Picture Cards for Themes page.
The Three Little Pigs
We make the houses of the Three Little Pigs by gluing on raffia pieces (straw), toothpicks (sticks), and small rectangles of red foam (bricks). We talk about the sequence of the story (which house did the wolf come to first, second, third), and make the houses on the paper in that sequence. The children dictate a few sentences to retell the story.
The Three Bears
Children make balls of play-dough in three sizes: small, medium, and large. They form the play-dough into a Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear, making a body, head, ears, arms, and legs. The children are given 3 sizes of wiggle eyes to put on the bears. You can also use the bear family cookie cutters made by Wilton.
Princess on the Pea
We use two beds from our dollhouse furniture for this game. The children take turns rolling dice and taking that amount of mattresses (cut from craft foam) to put on the bed. When all mattresses are gone, the child with the most mattresses on the bed is the “true princess” or prince.
Jack and the Beanstalk
We grow our own small beanstalks by planting lima beans in a cup.
The Fisherman and His Wife
We use a blue shower liner on the floor for the water. Paper fish have 0-10 dots on them, with a paperclip attached, and are tossed onto the “water”. Children catch a fish with magnetic fishing pole, count the dots, and write or stamp the numeral on a fish cutout. The magnetic fishing poles are made with a magnet wand tied to a rhythm stick (or dowel rod) with string.
See the Gingerbread Unit page for Gingerbread Man activities.
Queen of Hearts Tarts
Tarts are often made during the medieval ages. Children make their own tarts with this recipe:
Mix two spoonfuls of cream cheese with two spoonfuls of strawberry preserves in a cup. Spread the mixture onto vanilla wafers, and add a heart-shaped candy (red hots or other candy).
We make crowns out of plain construction paper. We paint them with gold glitter paint, and add some sequins for “jewels”.
Fairy Tale Retelling
A large sheet paper is folded in half, like a story book. The children draw a picture of one of their favorite fairy tale characters on the front. On the inside, they dictate their retelling of the fairy tale.
Fairy Tale Graph
Each child writes their name on an index card, chooses a favorite fairy tale, and places their card on the pocket chart graph. We count and compare the results: what has the most/least/same? I pick about 5 fairy tales for the children to choose from and place pictures of those fairy tales at the top of the pocket chart.
Use plastic jewels to cover the letter/number/shape on the bingo cards. We use these to play alphabet bingo, number bingo, shape bingo, or rhyming bingo.
Musical Jewels Game
We place the classroom chairs (“thrones”) around the circle. I place plastic jewels (from a craft store) only on certain chairs. Children march around the circle. When the music stops, they must find a throne to sit in. If a jewel is there, they take it. The children keep a count of how many jewels they have collected.
Children use strings of plastic “jewels” that have various amounts of jewels on them (1-10 jewels). Children count the jewels on the jewel strings and match them to another string of jewels of the same amount.
Children make patterns on a pattern grid card using plastic jewels from a craft store. You can also use paper crowns from the dollar store and have children place jewels on each point of a paper crown in a pattern. We practice making patterns by size and color.
In the Block Center, the children construct castles with the large and small blocks. I take photos of them to make a book of castle designs.
Mead: In the Medieval Ages, people drank mead because the water was unclean. We made our own mead with this recipe: Mix a spoonful (or more) of honey in a cup of water. Add a few squirts of lemon or orange juice and sprinkle on some nutmeg. Stir and drink.
Medieval Dessert: Sprinkle cinnamon on a pear half. Warm in the microwave.
Castle Prop Box
[Dramatic Play Center]
Cone-shaped princess hats (can make with paper and streamers), Crowns, Fancy shoes, Robes (red capes with white fur), Princess dresses, Chair for throne, Cardboard box castle.