Welcome back to #PLAYfulpreschool! I am having a blast sharing ideas and lessons every Wednesday, along with the rest of the “team”. Today’s theme is harvest, and I’ve got a Little Red Hen activity for you!
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Little Red Hen activity that combines sensory play and literacy
Materials we used
Little red hen (a chicken from the farm Toob that I painted red)
Mouse (from the pets Toob)
Dog (from the dogs Toob)
Cat (from the pets Toob)
Harvest wheat play dough
Plastic wheat stalks (I found at a local craft store)
Whole wheat flour
We read The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone multiple times last week and this week. For the retelling activity, I placed each different story element in its own glass bowl. The barley (the closest I could get to wheat seeds at the time), play dough and wheat stalks, flour, and play dough (for the cake). The characters were set next to the bowls, along with The Little Red Hen.
What we did
I called the children over to the table in groups of four, one for each character in the book. I explained that we were going to act out the story of the little red hen using the animals and the materials in the bowls. Then each child chose an animal to be for the retelling. For the first retelling adventure, I helped guide them through the story. After that, they were confident they could handle it on their own. Here’s how the kiddos used this little red hen activity:
1. By the barley, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me plant these seeds?” The remaining animals take turns replying, “Not I!” The students took turns feel the barley and pretending to plant it on the table.
2. By the play dough with the plastic wheat stalks, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me cut down the wheat?” Again, a chorus of “Not I!” All of the children loved removing the wheat from the play dough, even those representing the lazier animals!
3. By the bowl of flour, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me take the wheat to be ground into flour?” “Not, I” replied the other animals. The children reached in and felt the flour. We also discussed baking with their families, and what items can be made with flour.
4. By the bowl with the harvest play dough, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me make a cake with the flour”? More replies of “Not I!” The little red hen pretends to make a cake, put it into the oven and take it out.
5. The Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me eat this cake?” All of the other animals want to, but she decides to do it herself.
By the end of the story, the kiddos were giggling! I was so impressed with the language they used, as well as the details they remembered about the story! The synopsis above is very brief in comparison to all of the narration they gave to the story. Oh, and some of the children even did different voices for each character! I LOVE how much the children got into this story retelling! They took turns and played with the little red hen activity for over an hour!
So much learning took place amid the giggles and silly voices:
- Sensory exploration of the materials (mostly through sight and touch)
- Story sequencing
- Reading/listening comprehension
- Language and conversation skills
- Fine motor skills
Do you have a Little Red Hen activity to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
More preschool harvest ideas
Don’t forget to see what my #PLAYfulpreschool buds are up to this week!
Plan your PRESCHOOL Harvest Theme Learning Week with Activities from the Playful Preschool Education Team:
Learning with Gourds: Comparing, Sorting, and Labeling for Fall by Still Playing School
Corny Science: Will it sink or float? by Capri + 3
Harvesting in the Carrot Patch by Powerful Mothering
Preschool Math: Measuring Pumpkins by Mom Inspired Life
Making Bread by Rainy Day Mum
#PlayfulPreschool Harvest Time Math by Tiny Tots Adventures
Alphabet Activities: Letter Harvest by Growing Book by Book
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Sequencing Cards & Power Point by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Go Global: Harvests Around the World by The Educators’ Spin On It
Harvest Time: Jamaican Style Music by Learning 2 Walk
Pumpkin Patch Sensory Bin: Practicing Matching with Preschoolers by Life Over C’s
Pumpkin Activities Preschool Learning and Play by Little Bins for Little Hands