Favorite Quotes About Play, Fairy Tales and Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim

Fairy tales storytime yoga kids

Fairy tales have many uses for children's development and play is one of them! Tell stories! Act them out with yoga! Storytime Yoga® for Kids!

I am a big fan of Bruno Bettelheim and his books, my favorite being "The Uses of Enchantment." It was a major influence in my work and beliefs about play, yoga and storytelling. So few Americans use oral storytelling, folklore and fairy tales in their homes, classrooms or kids yoga classes. But enchantment and play are so important, as is allowing kids to create their own images inside their heads from the attention of listening to stories, not just reading them. So enjoy these quotes! Put them into action in your next kids yoga class or in your home and life!


• Play permits the child to resolve in symbolic form unsolved problems of the past and to cope directly or symbolically with present concerns. It is also his most significant tool for preparing himself for the future and its tasks.

• From a child's play, we can gain understanding of how he sees and construes the world--what he would like it to be, what his concerns are, what problems are besetting him.

• The child knows only that he engages in play because it is enjoyable. He isn't aware of his need to play--a need which has its source in the pressure of unsolved problems. Nor does he know that his pleasure in playing comes from a deep sense of well-being that is the direct result of feeling in control of things, in contrast to the rest of his life, which is managed by his parents or other adults.

• A child... who has learned from fairy stories to believe that what at first seemed a repulsive, threatening figure can magically change into a most helpful friend is ready to believe that a strange child whom he meets and fears may also be changed from a menace into a desirable companion.

• Play reaches the habits most needed for intellectual growth.
fairy tales storytime yoga for kids• Creativity stands at the center of all education.

• This is exactly the message that fairy tales get across to the child in manifold form: that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human existence -- but that if one does not shy away, but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious.

• For those who immerse themselves in what the fairy tale has to communicate, it becomes a deep, quiet pool which at first seems to reflect only our own image; but behind it we soon discover the inner turmoils of our soul - its depth, and ways to gain peace within ourselves and with the world, which is the reward of our struggles.
• Fairy tales are loved by the child not because the imagery he finds in them conforms to what goes on within him, but because--despite all the angry, anxious thoughts in his mind to which the fairy tale gives body and specific content--these stories always result in a happy outcome, which the child cannot imagine on his own.
• The delight we experience when we allow ourselves to respond to a fairy tale, the enchantment we feel, comes not from the psychological meaning of the tale (although this contributes to it) but from its literary qualities-the tale itself as a work of art.
• The question for the child is not Do I want to be good? but Whom do I want to be like?

• A parent who from his own childhood experience is convinced of the value of fairy tales will have no difficulty in answering his child's questions; but an adult who thinks these tales are only a bunch of lies had better not try telling them; he won't be able to related them in a way which would enrich the child's life.

• No longer can we be satisfied with a life where the heart has its reasons which reason cannot know. Our hearts must know the world of reason, and reason must be guided by an informed heart.
• Since there are thousands of fairy tales, one may safely guess that there are probably equal numbers where the courage and determination of females rescue males, and vice versa.
• To be a good enough parent one must be able to feel secure in one's parenthood, and one's relation to one's child...The security of the parent about being a parent will eventually become the source of the child's feeling secure about himself.

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