Are You Sitting Comfortably….? Fairy Tales Still Crucial to Children's Development

Apr 29, 2016, 03:00 ET from DreamWorks Tours - Shrek’s Adventure! London

LONDON, April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

  • May is National Share-A-Story month  
  • Fairy Tales are still a crucial part of a child's language development  

With May being National Share-A-Story month (supported by the Federation of Children's Book Groups), new figures show that even in a highly technological, multi-screen world the role of the fairy tale and story-telling is still crucial for children's development in 2016.

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A poll by family attraction, "Shrek's Adventure, London", noted that 83% of parents said they still read fairy tales each week, shunning newer technology platforms such as e-books, apps or tablets for the good old-fashioned book.

Child language experts and authors of a new book to be published this August entitled Building Language Using LEGO® Bricks: A Practical Guide, Jacqui Rochester and Dawn Ralph, support the findings with further research highlighting the importance of reading and listening to fairy tales including classics such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rumpelstiltskin.

Co-author Jacqui Rochester states: "The ability to use narrative (a story or a description of a series of events) is a vital life skill that children need to develop to enhance literacy skills, thinking skills, social development and language proficiency."

Paediatric Clinical Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and co-author Dawn Ralph adds: "Good story telling offers children access to a wealth of knowledge and experiences they may otherwise never be exposed to.  This builds up their semantic understanding of the world. It helps expand their knowledge of familiar words and experiences by offering different perspectives and links between things they already know and things that are new and exciting."

Fairy tales have also had a resurgence in the world of film and entertainment, with recent block-buster live-action films being made of Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel (Witch Hunters) and Snow White (and The Huntsman). One of London's newest visitor attractions opened by Merlin Entertainments in conjunction with DreamWorks is "Shrek's Adventure! London". Characters such as Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, The Gingerbread Man, Pinocchio and Puss in Boots have been brought to life in a walk-through immersive experience created to bring the fairy tales to life through live actors and storytelling.

General Manager of DreamWorks Tours Shrek's Adventure! London, Helen Bull, highlights: "Many of the children visiting our attraction are aware of the fairy tales from reading the books with their parents but we're able to add a new dimension of live interactive story-telling, giving them a modern twist on the tales and actually making them part of the story."

Author Dawn Ralph concludes: "Stories and fairy tales can offer children the experience of trying out different social solutions to see how effective they are in a safe and non-threatening way. Good storytelling includes active social interaction such as questioning, discussions and turn taking which can further enhance learning.  This interaction cannot be obtained from watching a TV screen or other technological devices."

Authors of Building Language Using LEGO® Bricks: A Practical Guide Jacqui Rochester and Dawn Ralph are available for further interviews on request.

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SOURCE DreamWorks Tours - Shrek’s Adventure! London