Stories and Storytelling

Steiner practitioners tell ‘house and garden’ stories. This means stories that young children will recognise as part of their familiar world, stories about what happens at home and in the world close to home, stories about things that might happen today, tomorrow or any time soon. There are nature sto- ries that allow the child to imagine how the natural world works, how the seeds are taken down under the earth in the autumn to safe, warm beds where the winter cold will not harm them and how the woodland creatures welcome the spring with such joy after the long winter rest.

 

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Rhythm and repetition 95

Steiner practitioners also tell traditional fairy stories. These are especially suitable for the older children in the kindergarten, the five- and six-year-olds, and help to answer the deep questions that are beginning to occur to them as they wake up to their new capacities. In every true fairy tale there are dif- ficulties, even difficulties that seem to be impossible to overcome, but in the end Good is triumphant and Evil is defeated, hearts’ desires are achieved and wickedness is punished. This is the message that children want and need to hear, not because they will never encounter difficult and bad things in their lives but precisely because they will, and they need to know that there are many mysterious ways in which they can be transformed. There is always the hope of a good outcome in the end no matter how difficult things may seem on the way there. Fairy stories give children very positive and empowering messages. Such stories exist in all cultures throughout the world, and the practitioner has a wealth of alternatives from which to select something that seems to suit the moment.

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