Example learning topic

Traditional Fairy Stories
Gingerbread man

This term our topic is Traditional Fairy Stories. We will be basing some of our activities around well-loved fairy stories such as ‘The Gingerbread Man’, ‘The 3 Little Pigs’, ‘The Enormous Turnip’, ‘Goldilocks and the 3 Bears’ and ‘The Little Red Hen’. Enabling the children to play, explore and learn through the seven areas of development.

Language skills

As adults we enjoy reading fairy tales to children as they remind us of our own childhood. What better way to capture their imaginations? They offer many learning opportunities.

When children listen to fairy stories it introduces them to new words and phrases such as, “Run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!”

The history of fairy stories is many centuries old. Some appear under different titles in other cultures around the world. They survive because each generation finds in them, universal ideas and enjoyable storytelling.

Authors have recently been thinking up new and different versions of the classic fairy story. Such as ‘Goldilocks and Only One Bear’, and ‘The Little Red Hen Makes Pizza’. This certainly stretches the children’s imaginations much further!

Fairy tales help show children how to handle problems:

“We learn from the characters in stories, even as adults. They help us because we connect to our own lives, dreams and anxieties, and consider what we would do in their shoes. Fairy tales help children learn how to navigate life.”

(Bettelheim, B. Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.)

Fairy tales can help teach the children critical thinking, and also be used to install morals and consequence. Think about what they may learn from stories such as Goldilocks, or especially ‘The little Red Hen’?

And other more recent favourites?

So when you read stories with your child. Talk about the morals in the stories – doing good deeds, not breaking promises and being kind to each other.




Goldilocks and the 3 bears and the Billy Goat’s Gruff have many opportunities for learning about size and position, first, second and third and sorting items into size category, such as bowls into small, medium and large.




You could try this at home! Make gingerbread men together.

Ingredients you will need:

100g butter      1 egg               1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

100g caster sugar                    1 teaspoon of warm water

225ml treacle (optional)          1 teaspoon of ground ginger

450g plain flour                       1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon             raisins

Gas 4 (180 ºC)  20 minutes

Make into a dough, roll out and use gingerbread men cutters. Have fun counting when adding the raisins.

When out and about help your child to notice how different houses are. See if they can spot a brick house, a wooden house, a stone house and any others! Which do they think is the strongest? Discuss the story of ‘The 3 little pigs’ which pig do they think was the most sensible?