Fidgety Fairy Tales
Fidgety Fairy Tales give information about mental health disorders by retelling familiar fairy tales. Each story contains positive messages and portrayals of children with mental health disorders as well as some of the common symptoms of a disorder.
It has appealed to many different age groups from preschool to adults. Each group has responded very positively to the performance. Grades four and up seem to absorb the mental health message more easily, although we have been at schools with strong mental health curriculum where kindergarteners have asked very poignant questions.
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Overview of Educational Content
Here is a brief overview of the mental health concepts that are covered in the two Fidgety Fairy Tales productions.
Fidgety Fairy Tales – The Mental Health Musical
A pre-show presentation explains how feeling distracted, sad, or worried are a natural part of being human. If the condition is very intense and occurs all the time for a long time, it may be a mental health disorder.
This story illustrates how a mental health disorder is only one aspect of a person. Having AD/HD isn’t all bad, and Little Hood’s ability to pay attention to multiple things helps her defeat the Wolf.
- Difficulty sitting still
- Distracted easily
Sleeping Handsome (depression)
The Queen Mum learns from the Good Fairy that depression is a serious disorder that Sleeping Handsome will not be able to fix on his own. She is encouraged to seek help.
- Sadness that won’t go away
- Loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyable
- Wanting to sleep all the time
Rapunzel is afraid to leave her tower because she has phobias about staircases, open spaces, and being made fun of. A compassionate and supportive friend helps her face her fears.
- Constant worrying
- Irrational fears
- Isolating behavior
More Fidgety Fairy Tales – Another Mental Health Musical
The Prince and the Pea (autism)
When Prince Frank arrives at the Kingdom of Neurotypicalia, he becomes friends with the lonely Prince Earnest. The Queen and the rest of the kingdom learn that even though someone may do things a little differently, they can still be a great friend.
- Difficulty with social cues
- Intense interest in a subject
Hansel and Gretel (post-traumatic stress)
Gretel has frequent nightmares and flashbacks about the scary things that happened at the witch’s gingerbread house. Her granny learns that even though two people may live through the same event, one person may develop a mental health disorder and the other one may not.
- Frequent nightmares
- Hypervigilance (always being on high alert)
The Frog Prince (challenging behaviors)
Princess Rana gets into power struggles with the king, her teacher, and a frog. Two elves teach her father, the king, a way resolve their conflicts inspired by Dr. Ross Green’s Collaborative Problem Solving approach.