“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein.
Fairy tales often take people to the sweet memory lane of their childhood. The memories of magic, dragons, and evilness getting defeated never fail to bring a smile to our faces.
Reading or listening to classic tales can help parents bond better with their children and nurture their creativity.
So, if you are looking for the best bedtime stories for your children, this blog will surely help you. Let’s explore some of the fascinating and timeless fairy tales that can bring lots of colors and blooms to your kid’s childhood.
10 Best & Timeless Fairy Tales For Children
Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales of all time. Its story remains an all-time classic and will remain the same for future generations as well.
Cinderella was a young woman who lived with her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Thanks to her glass slipper, she found her Prince Charming and escaped her difficult life.
Cinderella’s story has been adapted in many variations over history. Cinderella’s popular version “The Brother Grimm” was published in 1812. Recently, in 2021, Disney has released a new Cinderella movie with a modern outlook.
Moral: This story tells kids how they should never stop dreaming despite all the hardships that life presents them with.
Beauty and the Beast is a fairy tale that celebrates real royalty. In the story, a spoiled prince turns into a beast and imprisons a beautiful young lady named Belle. It’s only when he learns to love Belle that he becomes the prince again.
This fairy tale is assumed to be inspired by a real-life couple who lived in France in the 1500s. The man had a condition called hypertrichosis. This condition causes abnormal hair growth on the body.
So, he was referred to as a wild man and was kept in a cage for a long time. In a surprising turn of events, he married a royal court servant’s daughter, and they had 7 children.
Moral: We should value internal characteristics such as kindness over other superficial or physical qualities.
Rapunzel is a beautiful and motivational fairy tale. The story shows how a poor couple lost their daughter Rapunzel when they stole fruit from their neighbor’s garden. It also focuses on how the angelic voice of Rapunzel reunites her with her lover.
Moral: This story gives two bold messages that one should never steal, and evilness never wins.
Snow White is a young princess and is defined by her inherent kindness and pure beauty. In the story, an evil queen spends all her life envying Snow White’s beauty.
But, in the end, Snow White finds her happiness by marrying the prince. In contrast, the evil queen loses her peace and leads an unhappy life while chasing meaningless physical beauty.
Moral: This story has an insightful moral — if you lust over physical beauty, you lose your peace in the way. The story also encourages kids to be kind and pure like Snow White.
A rebellious Red sets off alone to meet her grandmother with instructions to never step off the forest path. But she disobeys the instructions and attracts the attention of the bad wolf.
Now, what happens next depends on the version you are reading. In the Charles Perrault version, Red gets gobbled up by the wolf. However, across Europe, North America, and many other tellings, she was saved by her hood or a guy with an ax.
Moral: This fairy tale intends to teach children to follow directions and express their courage at the time of need.
Jack is a rule-breaker and loves to prank. Once, he traded a family cow for a couple of magic beans in the hope of climbing the beanstalk and reaching the giant’s castle to steal his magic possessions.
This story will help you teach your naughty little pranksters that no matter how daring you are, one should never cross certain boundaries in life.
Moral: The story shows that undying greed for more will take away what you already have in your life.
Sleeping Beauty is slightly similar to Snow White. The story revolves around a Sleeping Beauty who was cursed by a wicked fairy. Beauty spends all her childhood sleeping, but on her 16th birthday, her prince charming finds her and wakes her up after years of slumber.
Like other fairy tales, different interpretations of Sleeping Beauty are also available. However, Disney’s Maleficent in the year 2014 achieved the most success.
Moral: The story shows that growing up has its own hurdles but in the end, love conquers all.
If you want to raise a little animal helper, this is the perfect story for you. Puss is a bold trickster who masquerades as the servant of a nobleman. His tactics bring him fame, fortune, and a wife at a young age.
The boots in this fairy tale symbolize wealth and wisdom. The story is set back in the 16th century when people used to be barefoot. So, having boots at that time was a significant sign of wealth.
Moral: The story’s moral is simple — your wisdom can help you win wealth.
This tale talks about the hunger of the heart and stomach. Hansel and Gretel are abandoned by their stepmother in the forest. Both children can’t resist eating a real gingerbread cottage out of hunger. But they get caught by a cannibal witch who lives there.
In the end, they shove the witch into the fiery oven to escape.
Moral: This story will teach your kids how fortunate they are to have food on their plates. It will help them be grateful in life and never have any egos!
10. Frog Prince
In this story, a frog helps a princess to find her golden ball in the pond and then invites her to live in the castle. It is then that the frog turns into a prince. The storyline of The Frog Prince is quite similar to Beauty and the Beast.
Moral: The story teaches that it’s important to value kindness and goodness over physical beauty. It also tries to convey the importance of keeping our promises.
Benefits of Reading Fairy Tales to Your Little Ones
Are you wondering how centuries-old fairy tales can benefit your child in this digital age? Well, no matter how old fairy tales are, they can always make your kid’s childhood happy and memorable.
Be it The Brothers Grimm or Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, all the classic magic stories can benefit your child in a number of ways:
Storytelling plays a significant role in a child’s development. That is because 95% of the human brain develops by the age of six. Therefore, reading or listening to fairy tales can build imagination and literacy for your child.
Your child can engage in fantasy land and learn to distinguish the fantasy world from the real world. They can learn to express their thoughts and ideas better.
Some studies even indicate that storytelling helps to improve vocabulary and confidence among children.
Develops problem-solving skills
Through stories, children and even adults can learn how to handle certain problems. Cinderella’s story fits perfectly in this context. It tells how a young woman escapes her difficult life despite her wicked stepmother and stepsisters’ cruelties.
Stories allow people to step into the character’s shoes and learn how they can easily conquer problems and presents children with an interactive method of learning. This is one of the reasons why SplashLearn creates visually appealing and character-based animated games.
Builds faith in goodness
Children connect better with the characters in the stories. This helps them learn from their favorite characters’ life stories. The stories can show children how to believe in goodness amidst problems and anxieties.
For example, Beauty and the Beast portray how selfishness can turn a prince into a beast. It also shows how beauty and kindness can turn a beast into a prince again.
Helps to understand cultural literacy
Fairy tales can bring cultural flavors into your child’s life. Different versions of stories are available today that can help your children interact with different cultures.
Strengthens emotional resiliency
Fairy tales show that life isn’t perfect. Children discover that bad things happen to everyone. But if you are emotionally resilient, you can overcome all challenges.
This helps children stay strong during hard times and always believe in the richness of life despite hardships.
Exposing your child to the world of fantasy can stimulate their imagination. It might amaze you to see how children can give a spin to traditional stories and interpret them into something completely different.
For instance, the University of Hawai’i conducted a study to evaluate the positive impact of fairy tales on children. In the study, researchers exposed children to different classic stories to understand their impact.
Interestingly, after listening to Little Red Riding Hood, a seven-year-old boy draws the wolf to the size of an ant. He used his imagination to create a funny interpretation of the bad wolf and show his courage.
So, when you introduce a story to your child, you are providing them with an opportunity to think and imagine different scenarios.
Teaches moral lessons
Every fairy tale is attached to a moral lesson. Fairy tales often leave us with a strong message, whether it is being good or believing in love or friendship.
You might have a hard time making your toddler understand where the difference between good and bad lies. But stories like “The Emperor’s New Clothes” can better show to your kids, the consequences of convincing yourself that something was true when it wasn’t.
Helps parents bond with their kids
Through classic fairy tales, parents can bond with their children in a great capacity. They can relive their childhood memories with their kids and build some new memories.
Teach, Motivate and Stimulate Imagination with Games
You can forget anything in your life, but you can never forget all the classic fairy tales that you have heard in your childhood. Have you ever thought, why?
That is mainly because stories capture our interest in a much better way. And once we learn something with an interest, we tend to not forget that information.
SplashLearn creates learning games to spike and capture kids’ interest. The engaging characters and visuals motivate the little ones to learn. Different mediums like games, worksheets and courses on Math and English can help them remember and retain concepts their entire life.
Today, you can try SplashLearn with your kids to see how they actually interact with interesting learning mediums.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is the oldest fairy tale?
According to some researchers, The Smith And The Devil is the oldest fairy tale. It goes back by 6,000 years to the Bronze Age.
Do all fairy tales have morals?
Yes. Fairy tales are written with a motive to teach a lesson to children via interesting characters and a storyline
How do fairy tales affect child development?
When children listen to fairy tales often, it affects their imagination and helps them to think about new things. The fairy tales affect the emotional, physical, and mental development of a child.
Do fairy tales have the truth?
Fairy tales have been passed down from many generations and cultures. However, today there’s no solid source from where these tales come from, but they have been inspired from somewhere. So, we can say that some fairy tales are adaptations of real-life events.
Are fairy tales timeless?
Yes. The storyline might have changed in many tales with time, but the central idea has always been the same.
What is the right time to read fairy tales to your child?
There’s no specific time to read stories to your kids. However, most parents prefer to read stories before bedtime. But you can read them to your child anytime as soon as they turn two.