Growing up, some of my fondest memories are reading fairy tales with my parents, tucked up in bed at night, and re-enacting those tales the next day with my friends at play time. I can still remember when Lewis was born and how I bought a book of fairy tales for us to read together, even though he was tiny at the time. As he grew up, those stories became such a huge part of his bedtime routine, and that’s why I was really excited to hear about Plusnet’s new campaign ‘Once Upon a Time Online.’ They’ve teamed up with Larry Lamb to adapt three classic fairy tales to suit today’s youngsters – with apps, selfie’s and the like, the tales are much more relatable for my younger three.
Now, with Lewis long out-growing fairy tales, I am grateful for Eva, Megan and Harry who adore listening to, and telling, stories together. Last week we decided to bake gingerbread wolves together in honour of the Plusnet fairy tale we watched the night before, Little Red Riding Hood. We watched the fairy tales, which are tailored to the online generation by being available to watch on any screen, as a family, and it was lovely to spend the quality time together. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about the things we loved the most about the tale, why it’s important to spend time together reading stories as a family and how much more relatable the themes are now they’ve been updated.
If you want to watch Larry Lamb read the tales with your family, they can be found here to enjoy: plus.net/onceuponatimeonline!
- 225g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 heaped tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 100g golden syrup
- Heat oven to 190C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Sieve the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. Heat the butter, sugar, and syrup until dissolved. Once cooled slightly mix into the dry ingredients to form a dough and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Dust surface with flour, roll out the dough to required thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.
- When cool decorate the figures using brown, black and white icing to create your version of the Big Bad Wolf.
I loved listening to the children talk about why they loved the new tales that have been recreated as part of the Once Upon a Time Online campaign. We don’t often get to sit down altogether as a family, so to have the tales achieve that is a pretty rare thing for us – and we loved them so much that we’ll definitely be revisiting them again very soon. Megan even declared that she loved Little Red Riding Hood because of the big bad wolf and how he was a goodie after all! Eva chose Cinderella because she loved the fact that she wanted to be a viral singing superstar, and Harry remaining firm with Jack and the Beanstalk because he’s obsessed with vloggers at the moment!
I think this is such a great pairing of classic tales with the digital era, and also so appealing to both children and parents too. I’m a huge Larry Lamb fan and there are so many references around his past work, as well as nods to things like online dating’ and ‘app maps’ that I really appreciated. I also learnt a lot of new things about tech and social media, which was a nice surprise. Who knew you could use the fire emoji to describe something as amazing?
Although you see lots in the news about children spending too much time on screens, the Plusnet campaign encourages modern families who don’t have a lot of time to sit down and watch the tales fairy tales on a tablet or an iPad, and I think that’s so important in bridging the gap between screen time and story time. Storytelling plays such an important part of my children’s development, and this is a great, relevant and modern way to encourage and maintain a love of stories in our children.
** This is a collaborative post with Plusnet. We have been compensated for our time. **