Fantasy and Fairy Tales

Dragon Puppet

This is a great activity for Chinese New Year or anytime of year!

What You Need: small paper bags, colored paper scraps, scissors, glue, markers, dragon stories and books

Read or tell some dragon stories to compare different kinds of dragons. Talk about what kind of dragons and dragons stories they like the best to get children ready to create their puppet.

Dragon puppet

A simple paper bag puppet is all you need for lots of pretend and imaginative tales

Puppets are made by turning the paper bag upside down and using the bottom flap as the puppet’s mouth. Have children practice this before they start so they get the idea of where a tongue, teeth, snout, and eyes might go.

Children cut out colored paper features and use markers to transform the bags into dragons.

As children create their paper bag puppets, be sure to encourage dialogue about their dragon with prompts such as:

  • What does a dragon need to look like a dragon?
  • What is your dragon’s name?
  • What is special about your dragon?
  • Does it have special powers?
  • Can your dragon fly?
  • What is the first thing your dragon is going to say?

Provide plenty of time for children to play together with their puppets. You might need to ask more questions to help children think of stories, rather than just roaring and fighting!

Write About It!

I have found these prompts helpful to get children excited to create and share dragon stories. Once they are finished, they can act these out with their puppets. Explain to the children they will write a story with their dragon as the star.

  • Where does your dragon live? In a cave… on an island… in a castle?dragon
  • Is your dragon scary or does it want to help people?
  • How do people feel about the dragon?
  • Does the dragon cause or solve a problem?
  • What are your dragon’s special powers? Does your dragon breath fire? Does it fly?
  • How does it use its powers to reach its goal?
Categories: Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Holidays | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Playful Writing Book Now Available!

Playful Writing Cover image

Writing for fun and discovery!

Find 150 playful writing explorations for young children. Activities include a creative start and uses writing as a natural extension of self-expression, and playful encounters. Prompts and guiding questions keep children writing for real purposes children care about. Each activity includes Early Writer ideas for those emergent learners, as well as Ready Writer activities for those ready for more advanced and complete writing projects.

The playful writing activities are organized into 15 chapters. That include a combination of informational and fictional writing experiences. Take a look!

Playful Writing Link

Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Early Childhood, Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Holidays, Humor Writing, Poetry, Science Writing, Talking Points, Writing Games | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fe Fi Fo Fun! Fairy Tale Rhymes

Using rhymes in fairy tales gives a story a special rhythm. Create fairy tale characters and make up rhymes your  characters might say to make a wish or use to find their way.

Jack and the Beanstalk Fe Fi Fo Rhyme

Jack and the Beanstalk famous Fe Fi Fo Fum Rhyme

What You Need: drawing paper, pencils, pens, fairly tales

Play! Draw and create your own fairy tale characters. Choose your favorite character. Decide how this character might fit into a fairy tale you already know, or make up your own story.

Write About It! Continue reading

Categories: Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Write a Superhero Story

Super Hero to the Rescue!

Think of the superheroes you know from comics, movies, and television. If you think they are fun to watch, they are even more fun to create!

What You Need: large sheet of butcher paper or cardboard, poster paints, paintbrush

Play!cartoon child drawing a superhero

  1. Draw a large outline of a super hero on your paper or cardboard. You can draw it freehand or find an adult to trace around.
  2. Use paint to add details. Continue reading
Categories: adventure writing, Fantasy and Fairy Tales | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Magical Wand Words

Magical wands add sparkle to play and writing.

Image of girl with magic wandPlay!

Make a magic wand for lots of swishing magical pretend. Use a stick with any type of star attached to the end for a traditional fairy tale wand. Don’t forget to glue lots of glitter to make a sparkle.

Now that you have a wand, what kind of magic do you want to make? Play and pretend then write your magic wand stories to share. Continue reading

Categories: Early Childhood, Fantasy and Fairy Tales | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Fairy Tale Dress-Up

Playing dress-up is a great way to play the part and create colorful fairy tale characters to use in all kinds of magical stories.
What You Need: A play box full of fairy-tale inspired clothes and accessories.

Here are some ideas…

  • Fabric pieces and scarfs to use for capes, wings, shawls, sashes…
  • Cardboard cones, coins, wings, crowns, magic wands…
  • Hats- all sorts
  • Easy pull-on clothes
  • Vests
  • Old Halloween costumes
  • Dance costumes
  • Stuffed toy frog
Two girls dressed up in costumes

Two fairy tale characters prepared for adventure and magic.

Play! Try on different combination of outfits. Use safety pins and Velcro to help in the designs. All the time think about the character you are creating. How does this character fit into a fairy tale story? What does the character want in the story? What kind of magic will help? What other fairy tale characters do you meet? Make accessories as inspired by the character.

Act out stories until you have lots of ideas to write your own fairy tale.

Write About It!

Once Upon a TimeContinue reading

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Kids Write! Book

If you like these playful writing activities, checkout….

Kids Write!
Rebecca Olien

Kids Write Cover Want to find more activities using playful learning to encourage young writers?

Take a peek at Kids Write! Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Autobiography, Adventure and More!

View table of contents, sample pages and reviews at Amazon:

Winner of Teachers’ Choice AwardTeachers' Choice Award Seal

Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Humor Writing, Talking Points, Uncategorized, Writing Games | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Off to See the Wizard!

Using the Wizard of Oz as a starting place, gives children a story structure they can adapt and turn into a magical adventure of their own making.


Photo of children acting out scene from Oz

Acting Out Adventures in Oz

Children choose what characters they want to include from the famous book and movie, or add their own characters to the mix.

Make costumes! These can be simply constructed from all kinds of simple recycled clothes, scraps, cardboard, and used Halloween costumes.

Brainstorm the adventures for the characters, either following the main plot of the Wizard of Oz, or making up some new adventures for these lovable characters.

Decide on the setting or multiple settings needed for the adventures. In the photograph, these children acted out the story indoors until they reached the Land of Oz and recorded the story outside using the magical color and sounds of nature.

Write About It!

Continue reading

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Stick People Adventure

Create fun stick people (or creature) figures and take them on some incredible adventures. What happens when these tiny characters meet find a stapler, a flashlight or your cat! What happens if you take them outdoors?

Draw, color, and cutout characters on index cards and glue them to craft sticks. Add fun details with colored paper, feathers, pipe cleaners or anything else you like. Leave some of the stick poking from the bottom so you can stick the character in a small glob of clay or in the ground so they stand up and you have your hands free to write their tales of adventure!Stick people photo

Write About It!

Start the Adventure
Decide who your main character will be. Tell the story through this character’s eyes. Find a place to begin your adventure. What does this character need or want to do? Give the character a reason to go on an adventure. Maybe your character is looking is trying to make a new discovery, find a new land, or save a kingdom.

Continue reading

Categories: adventure writing, Fantasy and Fairy Tales | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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