Inside: Here are 8 absolutely addicting fairy tale activities for grandkids & kids. Art, books, games, kitchen, nature activities & more. Bring fairy tales to life with these fairy tale activities.
Fairy Tale Activities for Grandkids & Kids
Kids of all ages love fairytales.
Growing up, any book that started with “once upon a time,” caught my attention. I was hooked. When I read fairy tales to my sons, they were hooked. My grandkids feel the same.
This week, I took familiar and not-so-familiar fairytales and created fairy tale activities for the grandkids. We started by reading and discussing different fairy tales and then engaged in fun fairy tale activities to support each story.
One of my favorite compilation of fairy tale books is The Golden Book of Fairy Tales, illustrated by Adrienne Ségur and published in 1958. The illustrations are breathtaking. As a child, our family had a copy of this book. I spent hours reading and rereading each fairy tale and cherishing each illustration.
It was out of print for about 20 years, but was reprinted in 1999 and is now available in bookstores. I used this book to read the not-so-familiar fairy tales to my grandkids.
When creating fairy tale activities–I took an idea, a theme, a token, a piece of jewelry, etc., from each fairy tale and created activities to complement the story. Here’s what we did…
#1 Grandkids in the Kitchen: Donkey Skin & Hansel & Gretel
A fun place to start your fairy tale activities is in the kitchen—baking up a storm!
The fairy tales we read before heading to the kitchen were: Hansel and Gretel and “Donkey Skin,” by Charles Perrault (found in The Golden Book of Fairy Tales)
The story of Hansel and Gretel includes a gingerbread house loaded with candy, sweets, sugar, two children, a wicked stepmother, and a witch. And a “happily ever after ending.”
“Donkey Skin” is about a beautiful princess disguised as an unkempt girl who takes care of pigs and is nicknamed Donkey Skin. When the prince discovers who she really is, he falls in love. But alas, there are roadblocks. To counter them, the prince asks Donkey Skin to bake him a cake. She uses the freshest eggs and butter and the finest flour and drops her ring in the batter.
The cake and the ring are key to him finding and marrying Donkey Skin and living happily ever after.
To celebrate these fairy tales—we made a delicious Caramel Apple Bread—straight from the kitchen of Blue Bowl Recipes. I changed the recipe a bit—adding 4 sliced apples to each dough circle and a vanilla frosting.
The final result was a delicious cinnamon, apple bread–a tasty treat and perfect complement to the stories Hansel and Gretel and “Donkey Skin!”
#2 Fairy Tale Bracelets Betsey Johnson Style
There are several fairy tale books that use bracelets as part of the story. One is “Bluecrest,” by Madame d’Aulnoy and found in The Golden Book of Fairy Tales and another is The Golden Bracelet.
“Bluecrest” has the usual cast of characters found in a fairy tale—a prince, princess, a jealous queen, and her ugly daughter. Prince Bluecrest loves Princess April but the wicked queen and her ugly daughter put a curse on Bluecrest. He is turned into a beautiful bluebird and brings Princess April elegant jewelry including an emerald-studded bracelet. Through a series of mishaps, eventually Bluecrest and Princess April wed and live happily ever after.
For our fairy tale activity, we made bracelets in the style of Betsey Johnson. Meaning—overdone; a little gaudy, but fun to wear—much like some fairy tales.
We made roses out of paper plates (I saw how to make paper plate roses on Chasing 40 Toes but we changed ours a lot). We painted them with tempera paints and a splash of glitter; then glued them onto a spin-art base with “jewels.” Last we attached a piece of elastic to the base to fit their wrists.
- Paper plates
- Clear tape
- Tempera paints
- Cardstock paper
- Lettuce spinner
- Plastic jewels
- Hot glue
- Cut a paper plate in a circular fashion; leaving a 1/2-1″ border until you reach the center of the plate.
- Take the outer end of the paper plate and begin wrapping the cut paper plate around your finger, creating a rose-like shape. Using clear tape, tape the inner part of the paper plate to the outside edge to secure
- Using tempera paint, dot paint over the rose. While still wet, sprinkle glitter. Let dry.
- Cut out small circles from white cardstock paper and put one at a time in the middle of a salad spinner.
- Drop 2 colors of tempera paint on the circle and spin. Let dry.
- Using a hot glue gun, glue the rose to the round cardboard painted base and the jewels
- Cut a piece of elastic and glue it in a circle on the backside of the cardstock.
#3 Wax Sculptures & Disney’s Frozen Fairy Tale
Most boys and girls love the movie, “Frozen.”
After watching Elsa use her hands to create beautiful ice castles and sculptures, we made our own “ice” wax sculptures.
They are easy to make but do require adult supervision because you’re using hot wax.
I made these when I was young. Take hot melted wax; pour in a flat cake pan and plunge it into cold water which makes the wax shoot up and freeze—instantly. You can leave them as they are or paint them. Don’t add food coloring to the wax—it will cause the wax to “spit” as it melts.
- Paraffin wax—1-2 cubes per recipe
- Round metal cake pans (Dollar Store)
- Large bucket
- Plastic gloves
- Ice water
- Fill the bucket full of very cold water
- In a pot, melt the wax over medium heat
- Pour into a cake pan
- Put on plastic gloves
- Set the pan with the wax on top of the bucket with water until you can see that it’s setting up
- Plunge the cake pan into the cold water and watch the wax shoot up the sides and create an “ice” sculpture.
The result? Ice sculptures Elsa-style!
#4 Harry Potter Wizard Wands
Girls are not the only people who love magic wands—so do boys. Think Harry Potter!
Harry Potter is considered a fairy tale because the story includes—heroes, heroines, villains, and a happily ever after.
After watching the first Harry Potter movie—our grandsons made wizard wands while the girls made girly-girl magic wands (see below). We geared them for boys by adding a moveable salamander and shark to the wands and lots of curling ribbon.
- Wooden dowels (Walmart)
- Wood salamanders & sharks (Dollar Tree)
- Tempera paints
- Curling ribbon
- Wrap the ribbon around the wooden dowel. Secure the ends with hot glue
- Paint the salamander and shark
- Hot glue the salamander and shark to each wand
- Add long strands of curling ribbon.
#5 Magic Wands
Magic wands are a big part of fairy tales. They create “the magic.” What would Cinderella do without her fairy godmother and her magic wand?
In the fairy tale, “Donkey Skin,” the godmother gives Donkey Skin her magic wand to help her on a difficult journey. In the fairy tale, “Green Snake,” one of the main characters, Old Mag has a magic wand that she uses for both good and evil deeds.
With my 2 granddaughters, our fairy tale activity was making magic wands from wooden dowels, hearts, and stars.
- Wooden dowels (Walmart)
- Wood stars & hearts
- Tempera paint
- Hot glue
- Paint the wood stars and hearts with tempera paints
- Sprinkle with glitter. Let dry
- Take the ribbon and wind around each wooden dowel. Hot glue the ribbon at each end
- Using satin ribbon, cut off long strips; tie a bow around the dowel and let the excess ribbon hang down.
- Hot glue hearts and stars onto each dowel
#6 Fairy Tale Activities: Making Necklaces
Many fairy tales incorporate magic necklaces into the story. Who can forget Ursula’s necklace in the Disney fairy tale version, The Little Mermaid? (a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale). The shell necklace contained Ariel’s voice.
We watched part of “The Little Mermaid” and then made lots of wooden necklaces—a great activity to increase fine motor and design skills.
- Wood beads of different sizes
- Wooden spools
- Colored beads
- Long colored beads
- Colored shoelaces (Hobby Lobby)
- Wood figures—unicorns, tags, zoo animals, etc.
- Corrugated cardboard
- Give each grandchild a colored shoelace
- Using lots of different sizes and colors of beads, wood figures, and pieces of corrugated cardboard—lace them into different designs to create fun chunky necklaces
#7 Fairy Tale Activities: The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen is a classic fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s a long fairy tale and centers on the struggle between good and evil through Gerda and her friend Kai.
The devil makes a magic mirror that distorts the appearance of everything it reflects. Rather than reflecting good things—it reflects evil and the ugly qualities of people. The mirror shatters into pieces and pieces get into people’s eyes and hearts and turns them cold.
Some of the pieces get into Kai’s eyes and heart and he becomes mean. It’s Gerda who saves him through the power of love!
Our fairy tale activity centered on showing love to others and playing in the snow. We talked about different ways we can love one another—starting with our family and friends. We made simple necklaces with names and drawings of people to show love to.
And what better way to end our fairy tale activities of The Snow Queen than by building a snowman together!
#8 Favorite Fairy Tale Books
Grandchildren and children love fairy tale activities. Here is a list of fairy tale books that I read to my kids and now, I’m reading to my grandkids. Some have a satirical take on a popular fairy tale.
- Hansel and Gretel by James Marshall
- The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
- James Marshall’s Cinderella by Barbara Karlin
- Classic Fairy Tales, Vol. 1 by Scott Gustafson
- Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs by Jacob Grimm
- The Golden Book of Fairy Tales by Marie Ponsot
Here are more blogs to inspire grandparents & parents:
- 7 Awesome Ways Fairy Tales Make Kids Larger Than Life
- 6 Best Children’s Books About Food & Awesome Adventures
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