Close your eyes and calm your breathing. Focus on your senses one by one. What do your ears hear? What does your nose smell? What does the ground beneath your feet feel like? The leader of the group asks everyone to open their eyes and say what they see in front of them. What could you eat, and what would it taste like?
2 READ PART ONE OF THE OUNASVAARA BIRCH FAIRYTALE
“The Ounasvaara and Pöyliövaara Hills are siblings. They rise up on opposite sides of the Kemijoki River, each as rocky and forested as the other. But climb to the top of one and you will see just how different these siblings are. Ounasvaara is old, stern and steady. It’s top is hidden from below, and it rises steadily higher and higher, and when, after a long trek, you finally find yourself at the summit, the view is spectacular. A rolling, uninhabited wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. Pöyliövaara, on the other hand, is something else entirely. Those wanting to climb it have to scramble up a steep slope to reach the summit. The view from the top is ordered and friendly, houses standing in neat rows like toys on the floor.”
3 NATURE IS FULL OF DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCES. WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Take turns pointing out the differences you see around you in nature. Look ahead, to the right, to the left and behind you.
4 SHOW EACH OTHER DIFFERENT WAYS OF MOVING THROUGH YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Explore different ways of moving through your environment and try opposite approaches – slow and fast, small steps and big, gentle and strong, timid and bold, jumping, limping, sneaking – all at once or one at a time.
5 MOVING THROUGH DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS
Reflect on how different conditions shape how people around the world move through their environments. Think about the different ways people in Finland move through the environment depending on the season. Then, move together like you were in these environments – slippery ice, dense jungle or forest, searing desert, deep bog, a field of boulders, a manicured lawn, waist-deep water and anything else you can think of. Imagine different situations like jumping in a puddle, carrying a heavy boulder from one place to another, getting swarmed by mosquitoes.
6 TAKE ON THE ROLE OF A CHARACTER AND MOVING THROUGH THE WORLD OF THE FAIRYTALE
Each person comes up with a fairytale character or creature and moves like they would through the world of the fairytale. It could be an elf, a goblin, a robot, a dragon, a monster, a Moomin, a Hattifattener, a gnome, a witch, a fairy or anything else. Imagine the fairytale places they would find themselves in and how they would move through them. Think about what the fairytale world is like. Maybe, in the fairytale, you feel light as a feather and float lightly along on the wind. Maybe it’s hard to stay upright, and your fairytale character always has to balance themselves. You might move through the fairytale world by bouncing, creeping, dashing, pulling your feet out of the mud as it tries to swallow each step, skipping across floating stones, whisking yourself forward with a magic wand, skipping along like you’re on the moon. The ground underfoot could be slimy or sticky, it could tickle your feet or squelch wetly with every step. The earth could tremor constantly underfoot, or it could do anything you can imagine.
7 WHO OR WHAT COULD BE LIVING IN THE SCENE OPENING UP IN FRONT OF YOU
Each person names 1–3 animals that could be living in the environment you see in front of you. Why? Tell each other about situations or events the animal has experienced. Then do the same thing again but imagine what kind of imaginary creature or fairytale character could live there. Why do they live there? What have they felt and experienced? What moments of joy have they had in this environment?
Everyone use 1–4 words to describe the environment in front of you. For example: “beautiful”, “colourful”, “bright” or “full of rocks”.
Fairytale activity suggestions by Mika Harjumaa.