Reading is a great way for kids to learn new words, enjoy themselves, and get their creative sparks flowing. It's important to get your kids interested in reading as soon as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to start reading to your kids early on. Thankfully, there is a huge amount of children's literature to choose from.
However, why not go old school instead? Yes, although the classic fairy tales might seem a little dated at times, they still have that magic that modern children books seem to lack. Here are 10 of the best fairy tales to entertain your kids.
The German fairytale, Rapunzel, was first published in 1812 as part of the legendary Brothers Grimm Children's Household Tales. However, the story actually goes further back, with the German Rapunzel an adaptation of an earlier story by Friedrich Schulz in 1790, with the Schulz story influenced by an even earlier tale published in 1634.
The plot focusses on the usual trope of a young girl trapped in a tower, needing someone to rescue her. However, this time the girl isn't saved at all, and instead it ends with her saving a prince from blindness. The book also has one of the most famous fairy tale lines of all time: "Rapunzel Rapunzel, let down your hair".
9 The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling is probably one of the more depressing fairy tales around but it's still a great book for children because of the message that it has. That's right, the book, which was written by the legendary children's author, Hans Christian Andersen, tells the tale of a little bird born in a barnyard who suffers thanks to the way that he looks.
However, at the end of the book, the "ugly duckling" transforms into a beautiful swan, leaving the other animals gobsmacked. The story is a good way to teach kids about name-calling, getting older, and personal transformation.
8 Goldilocks And The Three Bears
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is probably one of the most famous fairy tales in the world and even has the ability to creep out adults too. The story first came from 19th-century Britain, where three versions were originally said to exist. However, the most common plot is that of a young girl (Goldilocks) who breaks into an empty house, sits in the owner's chairs, eats their porridge, and sleeps in their beds.
Although Goldilocks isn't aware of it, the owners of the house are actually three bears, Papa bear, Mama bear, and Baby bear, who return home to find Goldilocks fast asleep.
7 Jack And The Beanstalk
The British fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk, has been around since 1734 when it was first published as "The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean." Over the years, the story has been adapted a number of times, however, the beanstalk has always remained at the center of the story. The plot focusses on Jack, a poor boy who lives with his mother and a dairy cow.
The cow is the family's only source of money, so when it eventually stops giving milk, Jack is ordered to sell it at the town market. On the way to town, Jack meets a bean dealer who offers Jack magic beans in return for the cow. Jack accepts, which then leads to a magical beanstalk, a giant and a whole host of fun and exciting things. Your kids will definitely love this classic fairy tale.
6 Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood is probably one of the most famous fairy tales in the world and has the ability to frighten both children and adults. The tale was first published in Europe and can be traced all the way back to the 10th century. However, the plot that we know and love today centers around a young girl named Little Red Riding Hood.
The girl is named after the red hooded cloak that she wears while walking in the woods on the way to her grandmothers. However, things take a turn for the worse when Little Red Riding Hood is accosted by a Big Bad Wolf, who attempts to eat her for himself. Yes, it might be a little scary, but it's such a classic that it deserves a place on this list.
5 Puss In Boots
Cats are probably one of the most popular animals in the world, and what's better than a cat? A cat in boots of course. The character of Puss in Boots has been around since the 1500s, however, the stories have somewhat changed over the last few centuries. Nowadays, the most common version of Puss in Boots is the one that was recently seen in the box office hit, Shrek.
In fact, the Shrek version wasn't so far off, with the original Puss in Boots that of a deceitful anthropomorphic cat who tricks his way into marriage and he gets huge amounts of money.
Rumpelstiltskin is mostly associated with the Brothers Grimm, who released the story in 1812. However, according to Bbc.co.uk, the tale has been around for at least 4,000 years and is probably one of the oldest folklores of all time. Like most fairy tales, the plot is a strange one and focusses on a young girl who can spin straw into gold.
As a result, she is put into a room and ordered to spin or the King will cut off her head. After a while, the girl is exhausted, and when she feels she can't go on any longer, a small imp (Rumpelstiltskin) appears and offers to spin for her in return for her necklace. As expected, other things happen, but you'll just have to find out for yourself.
3 The Gingerbread Man
The Gingerbread Man, otherwise known as The Gingerbread Boy, first appeared in print in 1875 and has been a popular fairy tale ever since. The plot focusses on the escape of a gingerbread man, who jumps off a baking tray minutes before being put into the oven.
As he runs away, the gingerbread man famously chants, "Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread man" only to end up in the mouth of a fox who devours him piece by piece. The story has been adapted numerous times and has also been turned into a musical.
2 The Princess And The Pea
The Princess and the Pea was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1835. However, it was later revealed that Andersen had heard a similar story as a child and adapted it into what it is now known as today.
The story is centered around a young girl who claims to be a princess. In order to find out the truth, a young prince decides to test if she is telling the truth by putting a pea in the bed that she is offered for the night. Since its release, the fairytale has been extremely popular and in 1959, it was even made into a successful musical called Once Upon A Mattress.
Thumbelina was written by legendary fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen and published in 1835. The story focusses on a tiny girl named Thumbelina who goes about her life avoiding marriage proposals from toads, moles and a variety of other small animals. Eventually, she meets someone of her own size and ends up falling in love.
At the time, Andersen's fairytales were hugely disliked, with critics claiming that they were too informal and lacked morals. However, nearly 200 years later, and the same fairytales are still being read to children every night, all over the world. Take that, critics!