What Stories Should I Use In The Six-Year Old Kindergarten Year?

I would love to hear your favorite stories that you tell to six year olds during the six year old Kindergarten year; leave your picks in the comment boxes.

I love those  repetitive stories such as The Gingerbread Man, Chicken Licken, etc, but not to reach the heart and soul of  the six year old.  I truly think that for most six year olds, these tales are enjoyable (just as they are for we the adults!)  but I am not certain these will  meet the child’s needs if  for he or she really is  in the throes of real and distinct developmental change.  If he or she is changing, really what is needed are stories with a little more “meat”, a little more good versus evil where good wins.

I hear about children who cannot handle fairy tales well; this does happen.   I wrote about that here in 2009: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/16/what-do-i-do-my-child-cant-handle-fairy-tales/  You really CANNOT bring a tale to your child that does not resonate with you or that makes you uncomfortable, so do NOT pick that one.  However, you can read a tale for two or three days, and really sleep on it and see what comes to you before you just dismiss it as well.   I  personally love nearly all the Grimms Tales, and am very comfortable with them, and I think that completely comes out in my storytelling.

So, without further ado, here are some stories we have enjoyed in my family in the past, or I have known families whose children enjoyed these tales; this list has my detailed notes as to each story:

First of all, do not discount stories from your own religious tradition.  If you are part of a religion that has saints, or stories of tradition, use those.  You may touch on some of them again in subsequent grades (such as Old Testament in Grade Three or Saints in Grade Two), but that is of no matter.  These are important stories to your family, to your traditions, so do not be afraid to structure your year around them if you wish.  Homeschooling is about family, and religion may be a big part of your family.  We can do this in the HOME environment.

Castle Under The Sea” – from mainlesson.com  It is rather lengthy, it could make a wonderful puppet show with less figures than what is in the story, and it has a heroine.  I remember my oldest daughter really loving this story when we kicked her six year old year off with it.  Here is the link: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=alden&book=chimes&story=castle

From the Pantheon Edition of Grimms Fairy Tales: (green cover, here is the link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Grimms-Fairy-Tales-ebook/dp/B00513H3SI/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311701971&sr=1-2)

#1 – The Frog-King, or Iron Henry  –

#5 – The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids – Many parents seem to  HATE this tale, but my six and a half  year old just laughed and laughed and laughed when the wolf was killed.  Goodness wins, and what a relief!  Know your child!

#19 – The Fisherman and His Wife – would make a wonderful puppet show; I believe there are instruction in Marsha Johnson’s FILES of her yahoo group to make large puppets for this tale

#24 – Mother Holle – this is one that many families tell every year; there is also needle-felted puppet instructions for this story in “Making Magical Fairy-Tale Puppets”

#26 – Little Red Cap  — there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”; there is also a needle-felted puppet for this in “Making Magical Fairy-Tale Puppets”

#27 – The Bremen Town Musicians – can tell with finger puppets and music

#62 – The Queen Bee – a favorite!  Our homeschooling group did a puppet play of this for our Midsummer celebration.  A lot of puppets is the downside, but I suppose you could simplify the number of characters you use for home.  There is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring” and it has been adapted into a puppet play with music in the book “A Lifetime of Joy” (see below)

#83 – Hans In Luck; there is also a needle-felted puppet for this in “Making Magical Fairy Tale Puppets”

#103- Sweet Porridge – not sure if there is really enough meat there if you only switch stories once a month; could tell it along with a cooking project

#106 – The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Cat  – there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”

#144- The Donkey  — there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”

#146 – The Turnip, again, I feel may be suited to a younger child unless you really bring in some drawing and cooking and things to enliven it; could be a sweet puppet show

#153 – The Star Money – usually told around Christmas, some families tell this every year, there is a beautiful transparent window art creation off of this story in the book about making rose windows if you have that book.  “Making Magical Fairy-Tale Puppets” has a needle-felted puppet in it

#161 – Snow White and Rose Red, traditionally told in Spring  – there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”

#169 – The Hut in the Forest, a favorite! – There is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”

#188 –The Spindle, The Shuttle, and the Needle  – there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”

From “You’re Not the Boss of Me! Understanding the Six/Seven Year Transformation” as edited by Ruth Ker:

“The Magic Lake at the End of the World”  A story from Ecuador

:”The Pumpkin Child” from Persia

“The Legend of Babouschka” from Russia

From “ Let Us Form a Ring

“The Princess In the Flaming Castle”

“Spindlewood” – a favorite  – this has music in it

“Twiggy”  — this has music in it

From “A LIfetime of Joy” by Bronja Zahlingen – all of these are puppet shows with music

“Mashenka and the Bear”  – I so love this tale

“The Swan Geese”

“The Snowmaiden”  – another favorite, we tell it almost every January along with Shingebiss from the Winter Wynstones book.  Who doesn’t love Shingebiss?!


“The Queen Bee”


“The Miller Boy and the Pussycat”

“A Midsummer Tale”

From “Multiculturism In Waldorf Education

These two were my younger daughter’s favorites:

“The Arrow Chain” – A Tlingit tale

“The Winning Of Kwelanga”  A Zulu Tale

there are a few others in this sweet little book, “Akimba And The Magic Cow”

There are also suitable stories in the back of “All Year Round

Hope that helps,


9 thoughts on “What Stories Should I Use In The Six-Year Old Kindergarten Year?

  1. Carrie,

    This list sounds wonderful! I am not to the six year old year yet, but I’ve bookmarked this for the future. I am wondering something about fairy tales, though. I understand the idea of not bringing exaggeration and emotion and adult ideas of entertaining (voices, etc) when reading/telling the stories to children and how the gruesome/scary parts of the fairy tales are understood on a deeper level by the young child. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with that part, but I get it. The part I do wonder about is the “damsel in distress” aspect of so many fairy tales, the girl being so often rescued by the man. I know the idea is that the characters are archetypes, but when there is so much of this type of story line in the world anyway, it is hard for me to want to further expose either my daughter or my son to the idea of the helpless woman and the courageous man/savior, deeper meaning or no. Looking into a future of Waldorf homeschooling, I know I have to figure out my own feelings about this and I’m looking for ideas!

    Thank You,

  2. Great topic! I was just perusing our Grimm’s collection the other day hoping once again maybe i’d find something to read to them and thought, ‘no way!’ I know fairy tales are so important to waldorf and I get that. I have studied storytelling and I understand the power of myth. But, a couple things I don’t get still: I have read that kids don’t take the story as literally as adults do. But my kids do!

    Also, the whole good guys/bad guys is something I have kept at bay (meanwhile all of our friend’s kids who are watching movies are fixated on ridding the world of bad guys and fighting). So I have rephrased things to say ‘kind people and people who have not learned yet how to be kind.’ My husband thinks I am going overboard a bit with my controlling of the language we can use. Yet in the story ‘the castle under the sea’ and so many others, the language is about good/bad or wicked. A friend and wonderful storyteller says that kids are aware of the dark sides of us and for me to hide them from it in stories doesn’t prepare them for when they face it in life. But what about protecting the under 7 kid and teaching them that the world is a beautiful and safe place?? So much to think about!

  3. Pingback: Book Lists « Discover, Learn, Love

  4. This is a wonderful list of books. And as I move into my second year of balancing an upper grade student with two in the early years I want to mention the power of creating stories.
    So often I find myself looking for a story to meet the current of our home. Something that brings the pieces of love, trust and gowth to light through the experience of story characters or creatures. Gradually over the years I found myself creating little tales and playing with animals or magic.
    Over time 3 little gnome brother become the regular characters of many of the stories. And my 3 sons loved hearing the stories, for they quickly recognized themselves in the character of each gnome and all the joy and gifts each could offer in each tale. These 3 gnomes have wonderful adventures together, exploring, discovering, and overcoming challenges, as well as learning how to bring their talents to the assistance of one another and their friends and family. It was much easier than I expected, and wonderful to watch the stories weave into the very fiber of my son’s lives. We also use many traditional stories, like those on this list. But I just wanted to add a reminder of the magic that authentic story weaving brings to life

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