I love linking small world play with children’s books! Small worlds inherently combine language and sensory learning, and I like the added literacy component books can add. This Little Red Hen version encourages kiddos to retell the classic story, and they can also make up their own versions.
small world play with the Little Red Hen
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Little Red Hen (chicken from a farm toob that I painted red)
Mouse (from the pets toob)
Dog (from the dogs toob)
Cat (from the pets toob)
Plastic wheat stalks (found at a local craft store, but Amazon has a version)
Wooden dollhouse furniture
It was great setting this small world up, as I already had everything I needed. My preschoolers and I used many of the materials during a Little Red Hen sensory retelling activity last year, along with a Little Red Hen sensory bin. I’m a big believer in reusing and re-purposing items!
I took a few handfuls of the rice and barley mixture (they were already mixed up and saved from the sensory bin) and spread them on a platter. Brown play dough was spread into a small glass tray, with the wheat stalks “planted” in the play dough. Then it was time to add the furniture from the animals’ house. Wooden doll furniture seemed appropriate, so I added a couch, a dinner table and chairs, and a stove.
How to use this small world
The kiddos can take care of this part all on their own, in my opinion! Read The Little Red Hen (any version!), then discuss the story. After that, let the kids at the small world! Here are just a few things kids could do with this world:
- Retell the story of the Little Red Hen
- Make up their own version of the story or change parts of it
- Plant the wheat over and over and over again
- Run their fingers through the rice and barley mixture
- Use the small world to tell completely new stories
Since small worlds are so open-ended, there are so many ways a child can play with and experience them. Often, kiddos will change how they interact with a small world as time goes by. How would your kiddos like this Little Red Hen small world?
more small worlds to check out
This post is part of Still Playing School’s Small Worlds from A to Z series! Be sure to head over there and see what other small world goodness is happening!