The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a Christmas fairy tale that was adapted by Alexander Dumas from Ernst Hoffmann's original 1816 work. You may also know it, because it is one of the most represented and known ballets since the Russian composer Tchaikovsky put music to this work and since then it has been performed all over the world.
The story is about a beautiful and shiny toy ofNutcracker, who comes to life on Christmas night and faces the Mouse King in a tough battle. Share this story with your children full of Christmas spirit and propose the educational activities that you will find at the end of the story.
Farmer Stahlbaum and his mistress were having a Christmas party. The children of the family, Clara and her brother, were very happy with the arrival of the holidays. They eagerly awaited the magician Drosselmeyer, their favorite uncle, a toy maker that always came with something new.
The magician arrived with his nephew, Fritz, and a large box of surprises from which a dancing soldier, a doll, and a polar bear with its baby were successively emerging. Clara wanted to keep the doll, but her mother explained that it was impossible.
The girl began to cry inconsolably and finally Drosselmeyer, feeling sorry for the girl, surprised her with a special gift: a big nutcracker of wood. On the other hand, his brother received the King of Mice as a gift. How happy the little ones were with their new toys!
The hours passed and the guests to the Stahlbaum Christmas party went home. But before going to bed, Clara quietly went down to the living room to say good night to her beloved Nutcracker, who was waiting by the Christmas tree. The little girl, tired after so much celebration, fell asleep right there and began to dream that the toys came to life around her.
What was your surprise when The King of Mice and his band of rodents appeared and began to terrorize the girl. But suddenly the toy soldiers led by the Nutcracker arrived to defend Clarita. Fritz, the magician's nephew, assisted them as an artillery captain. Good thing they were there to help her!
However, the rodents, armed with the best toy guns, began to gain ground little by little. So Clara also took action! She steeled herself and threw one of her slippers at the King of Mice. Got it down! Moment that the Nutcracker used to scare him and the rest of the army of mice, who fled.
It was then that the Nutcracker transformed into a beautiful prince and invited Clara and Fritz on a journey through the enchanted forest. When they got there, they met the King and the Snow Queen who danced for them alongside the snowflakes. What a beautiful sight! The dance little by little became a whirlwind that finally propelled the sleigh, with the prince, Clara and Fritz on board, towards a place full of magic.
Do you know how far they went? Clara, Fritz and the prince discovered the kingdom of confectionery, where they were greeted by a beautiful fairy. For a great evening, he asked the prince to narrate his adventures as the Nutcracker and after this, he started a wonderful party that culminated in a dance between the prince and the fairy.
After living an experience full of magic and adventure, Clara and Fritz returned to reality in their sleigh.
When the girl opened her eyes, she could see that the nutcracker was still waiting under the Christmas tree. However, and although Clara knew it was not possible, she was sure that now the toy smiled more than before.
Did you like this Christmas story? Invite children to dream and immerse themselves in the universe of imagination and fantasy. In addition to making the little ones dream, this tale can serve as an educational resource so that the little ones can practice some of the skills and knowledge they must acquire for school.
First of all we propose some reading comprehension questions based on the story. And it is important that children read well, fluently, and at an adequate speed; but more important is still that they understand what they are reading. Only in this way can they benefit from all the good things that reading has for children. If you want to know more about the importance of children reading well, do not hesitate to take a look at the study published in the Chilean journal of psychology Psykhe and written by Teresa Marchant et. al, which explores the different qualities and benefits of reading for children of different ages.
To check if they have paid attention to the text you were reading, ask them these questions.
- Why were they having a party at the home of farmer Stahlbaum and his wife?
- Who brought gifts to the children of the family?
- What toy did Clara keep and what did her brother get?
- What happened in the battle between the Nutcracker and the King of Mice? Who won?
- Where did Clara, the Nutcracker prince and Fritz go after the battle?
If you have not been able to answer some of these questions, you can reread the story as many times as you want.
[Read +: Christmas dictations to do with children]
Here we propose more exercises with which you can play and work with your children. Choose the activity that best suits the age and preferences of your children.
- Who could have said this?
To carry out this game you can ask your children to become little detectives for a while. Imagine that you find some recordings of characters from this story. From the story, could you find out who says what? These are the pieces of dialogue that you have to find an owner.
'As your mother has explained to you that you cannot keep the doll that you loved so much, why don't you keep this beautiful Nutcracker that I have brought you as a gift? Your brother can keep the King of Mice toy. '
'Clara girl! I, together with Fritz and the toy soldiers, will save you from the attack of the Mouse King and his band of rodents. '
'Oh no! The mice are winning the battle. I'll have to throw a shoe at the king to stop them. '
'Welcome to the enchanted forest. It is an honor for my husband and me to have you here. Please sit on those chairs. We would like to do our dance surrounded by snowflakes. '
- What's a nutcracker?
Surely one of the first questions your children will ask you when reading this story is ... 'But what is a nutcracker?' Thanks to this story, this figure has already become a Christmas classic, although there are many children who do not know what it is.
You can explain to them that to break the hard shell of the walnuts we need some kind of tool that allows us to force and crack or break the walnuts. On the occasion of Christmas, there are families who buy this nutcracker in the shape of a soldier, like the protagonist of this story.
Once the children know what it is, you can invite them to draw their pictures.
- Listen to the soundtrack of The Nutcracker
As we have already told you, The Nutcracker is a Christmas story for children from which a ballet with music made by the great composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsk has become popular. Therefore, after reading this story, you cannot stop enjoying the music of this work. Is beautiful! You can guide your children through the melody according to what happens in the story.
On our site we love Christmas stories. For this reason, below we have made a small selection of some of the most special ones. As you can see below, many of them deal with values as important as generosity or solidarity.
You can read more articles similar to The Nutcracker. Christmas stories for children, in the category of Stories on site.