Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fable of the Day Refrigerator Magnets

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Do you like to regale the people in your life with useful advice? I do, whether they want to hear it or not! I love this project because it allows me to combine my love of Aesop's Fables with my interest in discussing morals and ethical dilemnas with my children. What you do is use the spinner to find the Fable of the Day. (or week, or whenever.) Then you can use the magnets to set up the fable on the refrigerator or on a magnet board. Then if you want, you can talk about the moral. I picked 7 fables that happened to appeal to me. Some have straightforward proverbs, like "don't count your chickens before they hatch." Others are more equivocal like "a tree that is unbending is easily broken." I am looking forward to springing this project on my family as soon as Corinne finishes taking pictures for me. (The poorly composed, badly lit photos are mine and the good ones are hers.)
You might find the 7 fables I picked to be not to your taste but fortunately there are over a hundred fables to choose from. Here is a convenient list of morals at the angelfire site. After you find a moral you like you can search for the fable and find it pretty easily online by typing the moral into Google with the word "fable" attached. Then there are numerous sites that feature fables. Of course, you may have a book of fables to read and mull over, which would be even better.
Here are the 7 that I chose.

The Farmer and the Stork
Moral: Birds of a feather flock together                                                The Olive Tree and the Reed
Moral: A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

The Hare and the Frog
There is always someone worse off than yourself 
The Serpent and the Eagle
One good turn deserves another

The Tortoise and the Hare   Slow and steady wins the race                                                      

The Milkmaid and her Pail
Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

The Lion and the Mouse
   No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.

To make your own magnetic fables you have to decide which fables you want to use and how you want to make the characters. I cut mine out of felt. You could draw them onto paper and laminate it, use clip art from the internet, or come up with your own original way to illustrate the fables. You also need to write or type the name of each fable and the proverb that goes with it.

  • Artwork to accompany each fable ie animals, props, title of fable, moral
  • Magnetic printer paper
  • Craft glue
  • scissors (It would be good to have both big and sharp and tiny and sharp.) 
  1. Take each fable and decide what you will need to execute it. I tried to keep things simple. For The Lion and the Mouse I only have the animals and a net. This is the same net that is used for The Farmer and the Stork. Many items like trees and roads can be used for multiples stories.
  2. After you have your list make the items and glue them onto magnet paper.
  3. You can hand write or type the title of each fable and the accompanying moral.
  4. I made my spinner out of blank shrinky dink paper. I punched a hole in it before baking so that I could insert a brass fastener. If you have any old board games laying around with spinners it would be really convenient to just repurpose an existing spinner, or at least dismantle one and use the arrows.
  5. The bag that holds everything is just a piece of felt folded in half and sewn up the sides. I bought two magnetic clips so it can hang on the refrigerator too.  
  6. Now, spin the dial and discover some words of wisdom to guide your day!



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