Free Stories For Kids - Aesop's Fables
When I have something to teach my children, I often find it helpful to put it into a story with a moral or lesson attached. They seem to remember it much more readily, and I can refer back to it quickly with instant understanding from them of my meaning.
For example, just by asking them, "Remember the boy who cried wolf?", reminds them in a simple, friendly way not to play silly and potentially dangerous attention games. It makes my job as a mom much easier, and my kids are entertained at the same time by the stories.
Because I'm a great fan of reading, we have a lot of books at home, but that has not hindered my absolute delight in discovering a wonderful, free collection of Aesop's fables available to everyone online.
The authors of this website have organized the fables into easy to follow sections, many with audio versions available that you can listen to as a family. Many of the lessons are categorized, making it easy to select an appropriate fable to illustrate a particular point you wish to make to your kids.
As well as all of Aesop's fables, the website also provides copies of the fables of other famed writers, and one of the highlights is a complete collection of the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson. There are over 600 stories available for free!
This website has become a favorite with my family, and I hope that by sharing it with you, your family will enjoy it as much as we do.
Here is the website address: Aesop's Fables - Online
A Little About Aesop
If you are unfamiliar with Aesop and his fables, here is a little background information.
Aesop lived in ancient Greece around 600BC and is believed to have been a slave. Perhaps surprisingly, he probably did not write the fables he is so famous for, but traditionally his name has been associated with that particular type of story from around that era. These stories have been handed down through the centuries, and we are still familiar with them today.
His fables often personify animals and other natural occurrences in order to teach moral lessons and life skills. The stories are allegories, in that they can be enjoyed as simple stories, but also have a depth to them, allowing adults to equate the storylines with people and events in their lives and gain insight into real life situations. In fact, the tales were originally aimed at an adult audience and were not widely used to teach children until the 16th century.
Well known examples of Aesop's fables include The Boy Who Cried Wolf (which I mentioned earlier), The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Fox and the Grapes.
If, like me, you sometimes like to read to your kids the "old fashioned way", Aesop's Fables are available in this inexpensive book. Many updated versions try to modernize his tales, but I prefer the original stories in this classic edition.
Ethics in the Fables
The ethics taught in Aesop's stories are still just as applicable to today's society. Here are just some of the morals to his fables.
- Whatever you do, do your very best
- Necessity is the mother of invention
- Little by little will achieve a lot
- You can't please everyone
- Behave towards others as you would like them to behave towards you
- Slow and steady wins the race
- Try before you trust
- Honesty is the best policy
- There are two sides to every story
These are just a few of the lessons that are taught by these simple, amusing tales.
The Lion & the Mouse
The Lion & the Mouse is one example of Aesop's Fables, told here in an educational animation for young readers.
More Free Stories
As mentioned above, the Aesop Fables website also contains stories by other authors. These include Charles Dickens, L. Frank Baum, Hans Christian Anderson, Ambrose Bierce and Jean de la Fontaine.
There are also lesson plans available for teachers and parents to use the fables to teach children.
It is a great free resource!
Read To Your Children
If you read to your kids, you are giving them a wonderful gift.
It has been proven that regularly reading to your children not only improves your relationship with them, but increases their chances at academic excellence in the future. They not only learn to read, but their speech improves and they develop valuable communication skills.
Enjoy this special time with your kids. They grow up so fast!
© 2010 Suzie Armstrong