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Folktales for Kids

Kids reading books next to piles of books as tall as a skyscraper

Before stories were written down or printed in books, folktales were frequently told by a parent or an authority figure, like a shaman, the chief or a village elder. Folktales were shared over multiple generations, so stories were shaped by the individual teller to fit the needs of a younger audience.


Since folktales for kids were shared orally as they were passed along, they were easier to remember and could be easily recalled by a child. Tellers understood that if kids weren’t actively engaged by a story or immersed in the action, then they wouldn’t bother to listen. So, folktales had to follow simple, straight forward storylines and the characters had to be easy to tell apart. As a result, folktales for kids made it easier for cultures to pass along their core values and traditions.


Since folktales were originally created to be listened to these stories are an ideal tool for strengthening reading comprehension and listening skills. In addition, the simplicity of folktales for kids makes it easier for young children to learn about story structure and plotlines.


There are also several characteristics that distinguish folktales for kids from other types of stories. To learn about folktales, go to What Are the Characteristics of Folktales.

We have listed a number of award-winning folktales for kids that have been shared over multiple generations by different cultures. Like all of the August House picture books each of these folktales for kids has been carefully curated to retain their authenticity, while also adapting the stories to suit the needs and interests children 5 to 7 years of age.

We provide lesson plans for Kindergarten through 2nd grade for these stories. Each lesson plan includes worksheets and specific activities correlated to the Common Core Standards.


If you are looking for a deeper understanding of how to use folktales for kids, please consider reading Margaret’s award-winning resource book, Teaching with Story: Classroom Connections to Storytelling.


You can also explore any of these books and other timeless folktales for kids by selecting the Books section on our home page and using the Book-Finder database to review individual titles.

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