07 September 2010

Fairy Tales for Boys?

Over the holidays we went to Warwick Castle and went into the Princess Tower. They have warning signs that it is "not for boys" but boy #2 wanted to go in the Princess Tower so we did.

The story goes that Princess Tower is home to Warwick Castle’s very own fairytale princess, Princess Arabella and that preparations are underway for her wedding. Children go into one of the castle rooms and meet a princess who tells them all about Princess Arabella's forthcoming wedding to Prince Toby and along the way she shows the children various things from other fair tales. So they meet a frog (who she kisses to see if it will turn into a prince), Sleeping Beauty's spinning wheel, the bed from the Princess and the Pea, one of Cinderella's old ragged dresses and help to chose the fairy tale outfit to go with Princess Arabella's dress. Then they go into another room and dress as princesses (with boys dressing as knights as a bit of an afterthought) before going onto the room of wishes where they write their wish in the book.

All in all it would seem a great introduction for children to fairy tales - so why then is it all "pink" and why are they discouraging boys from getting involved?

Surely, all children need to know traditional tales not just girls? and is it any wonder that boys are not achieving the same results in literacy if they are not being given encouragement at even this most basic level.?


The Contented? Maybe. said...

This is really interesting, especially given they'd not only geared the attraction towards girls, but actually signed it specifically "not for boys". In such PC times, I'm surprised this is even legal!

Were they offering an alternative for boys?

Elaine, Littlesheep Learning said...

The "alternative" is the Pageant Playground for Little Knights to let off steam... not quite the same thing really!

It is also interesting that it is Knights and Princesses - surely it should be Princes and Princesses?