Once Upon a Time Online With Plusnet

This is a collaborative post

When the team over at Plusnet got in touch with me about their #OnceUponATimeOnline campaign I knew that it was one that I was keen to talk about here. The campaign is hoping to provide a solution for busy parents to enjoy fairy tales with their children with a modern day twist. Actor Larry Lamb has got involved and shared three fairy tales in a digitally re-imagined form, here’s one of them for you…

I am passionate about reading and story time with our children, it is something that we absolutely prioritise here. Apparently research indicates that shared story time is on the decline with 85% of parents admitting that they don’t read aloud to their children every day. This is why Plusnet have developed their series, to bring fairy tales and story time up to date, whilst embracing technology.

I think that tech can get a bad press as we all steer away from too much screen time for our children, understandably so. However, we also embrace it here as it can be brilliant at educating and entertaining us. Just the other day Little Man was asking me how people build houses, and not being a builder myself, the best way to answer his question was to sit together and watch a YouTube video of a house build. Boo’s homework from school for the last couple of weeks has included some internet research which really interests her and helps to build her skills.

We do normally read from books here, we are fortunate to have a lot of them around. But that’s not to say that we don’t also utilise technology at story time. The Husband and the kids have got Kindles and love reading from those. Then for reasons that I haven’t quite worked out, at the start of story time each evening Little Man likes to have a theme tune played to him so we grab our screens again for that (no, I really don’t know why, and yet the tradition has stuck!).

As part of this campaign, Plusnet invited us to re-imagine some classic fairy tales which has been a lot of fun. The kids started by reading through a classic storybook that Plusnet sent over, along with taking a look at Larry Lamb’s retelling of fairy tales online; Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. This started to give them a few ideas so I left them to it to start writing and illustrating.

Little Man was keen to rewrite The Gingerbread Man. In his version, the gingerbread man still jumped up and ran out of the door. However, he seemed to suffer something of a malfunction then as he ran and ran and yet wasn’t making an progress. Instead of encountering several animals trying to eat him and finally succumbing to that sly fox, the gingerbread man employed one of the greatest inventions of the digital age – his mobile phone (do not question how baked goods get mobiles, they just do. And really, we are talking about a walking talking gingerbread man here, so creative license has been used). Yes, the gingerbread man simply dialled a local taxi firm and a cab came and collected him and got him away from all danger and the old lady. Hooray for him!

Boo decided to rewrite The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and she decided that she wasn’t keen on the ending. Yes, she wanted the sweet goats to escape, but she didn’t want the troll to come to a sticky end. She loves a villain! In her version of the story, the goats all manage to trip trap over the troll’s bridge, but then the biggest billy goat shows a little compassion. He does not charge the troll off the bridge, instead he calls up and orders him a pizza so that he is fed and no longer needs to bother innocent goats!

It was lovely to see the kids’ imaginations with these stories and they needed no input from me to come up with these alternative tales. It does show how much technology is ingrained in our lives now.

If you like the idea of these tales, you can check out the Once Upon A Time Online campaign for stories, and perhaps spend some time coming up with some alternative fairy tales with your children. Do let me know how they turn out!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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