Teaching values to children should start at home by merging with their learning in school. Parents have different tools available for this such as classic tales and fables. Fables are a kind of cautionary tale for children. For centuries, parents have told different types of didactic stories to their children. In fact, in the past, oral tales were the only way to transmit the knowledge that had accumulated over several generations.
From the pedagogical point of view, classic stories and children’s fables are stories with values, with which we can transmit, through the story, values that will mark not only the lives of children but will remain during their adult life.
Friendship, courage, patience, loyalty, are values that we can find in these stories and that will fill the imagination of our children. The transmission of values and teaching in an environment of love and affection are key to the formation of upright and responsible adults. Classic tales and fables with a moral are also ideal for encouraging children to read. Reading stories together, as a family, develops the creative and linguistic skills of the little ones. It also helps them with reading comprehension.
Why do we use fables to teach children or what are fables for?
Fables are tales in which animals or inanimate objects often have human qualities. On the one hand, they are fun and engaging. On the other hand, they teach us important life lessons through the behavior and actions of the characters.
That’s why fables are an ideal way to teach children about key values and behaviors. Packaged in the form of a story, they attract your attention. In addition, it helps them gain and retain that knowledge.
It is said that in Mesopotamia, 2,000 years before our era, ancient fables were already told. However, the first fable that reached our days is the work of Hesiod, a poet of Ancient Greece, and is found in his work “The Works and the Days”.
Later, for example, the well-known fables of Aesop are characterized by their simplicity and easy understanding for children. These fables are named after the famous Greek writer. Aesop began his stories in ancient Greece and they still endure to this day. In their fables the protagonists are usually also animals and inculcate moral and life lessons.
We summarize some examples of fables for children.
They can be entertaining and didactic:
The cat rings the bell
This funny fable tells the story of a group of mice who want to free themselves from their enemy, the cat. Everyone has ideas, but no one is willing to take action. This story teaches children that it’s easy to promise something, but actually doing it is something completely different.
By telling your child this story, you will strengthen the value of hard work and effort. It tells the story of a small ant who works hard in the summer to build a house.
Meanwhile, the cricket is singing in the sun, but regrets doing this when winter comes and has no provisions. With this story, you will learn how to use your time in a useful way.
If your child has just started school, this fable is ideal. Characters are a group of tools. Each tool sees the weaknesses of the others.
However, when they discover that they can work together to make a beautiful piece of furniture, they change their minds. This fable shows children that each of their classmates is important. In other words, everyone contributes in their own way.
This is a great way to help children resist the temptation to lie. The fable tells the story of a little shepherd who happily frightened people by warning them of a dangerous wolf. Again and again the townspeople came to help the child, but there was no wolf.
However, one day the wolf really appeared. This time no one came to the rescue of the little shepherd. After all, everyone thought it was a joke again. This story teaches children that lying can have catastrophic consequences. In the mouth of the liar the truth becomes doubtful, so if you lie a lot when you tell the truth they will not believe you. This sooner or later can cause you problems.
This is the story of a lion that has to make a difficult decision, can hunt a small hare or a large deer. The choice he makes doesn’t end as he had hoped. With this myth you can teach your child to be satisfied with what he has. In addition, this story is also about making wise decisions when weighing the risks.
The Two Frogs
This is the fable of the two small frogs. On a hot summer day, the lake where the frogs live is drying up. They set out to look for water elsewhere. They reach a deep pit, and one of the frogs wants to jump right away. But the other frog stops to think. If the well dries out, there is no exit. This story will help you think first before you do anything, as the saying goes, “Think before you act.”
The turtle and the hare
This old myth has taught children for generations not to make fun of anyone. In addition, it also teaches us that being too proud and being arrogant with our own abilities can lead to big mistakes. The fable tells the story of a turtle that challenges a vain hare to a competition. The hare thinks she can easily beat the slow turtle, but finds that no one is better than another. This is a great way to get kids thinking about their behavior. This story helps us experience feelings by putting ourselves in the opponent’s shoes.
The benefits of fables for children
– They help you promote reflection since not only do they hear an interesting story but there is a moral that stimulates their critical thinking and leads them to make a distinction between good and bad.
– Stimulates their memory since, being short stories, children can remember them more easily and thus expand their ability to memorize.
– They broaden sensitivity and stimulate empathy, especially when the child manages to put himself in the place of the characters and understands their emotions and points of view.
– They acquire values, since they understand in a didactic and entertaining way what is right and what is not.
– They encourage their creativity through stories with a lot of imagination and that open the doors to a magical world where everything is possible.
You can use these fables in your bedtime routine to make the most of this powerful educational tool. A good idea is also to ask children to talk about the characters and the actions they take in the story. In the same way it is beneficial for their learning, to ask questions whose answers include qualities and defects of the characters and what is right and wrong in the actions of the characters.
All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
Edda Virtual Solutions
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