A few weeks ago, my preschool students were enamored with the story of The Little Red Hen. We created harvest wheat play dough and retold the story using sensory materials. Inspired by our retelling activity, I created a simple sensory bin for further exploration.
Amazon links to comparable materials below.
Barley (it looked somewhat like wheat seeds to me)
Brown Rice (it looked somewhat like bits of wheat off the stalk)
Plastic wheat stalks (I grabbed from a local hobby store)
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)
Glass Montessori pitchers
I poured a few bags of barley and brown rice into our large sensory table. I added a pile of plastic wheat stalks, as well as the characters from the story of The Little Red Hen.
How the Children Played
This was our third activity based on The Little Red Hen, so the kiddos knew the story forwards and backwards! They immediately set about retelling the story and taking turns with the characters. The children spent most of the first day telling the story a variety of ways. I loved watching them creating a hill out of the barley and rice, then planting the wheat stalks for the hen!
The following day, the students grabbed funnels, plastic bottles, measuring spoons, and small pitchers for the bin. This led to a ton of pouring, scooping, and funneling. I heard estimates of how long different amounts of “wheat” would take to get through the funnels. They also estimated, and tested, how many scoops would fill up a plastic bottle. Some were just interested in listening to the sounds of the materials flowing through the funnels and landing back in the bin.
On the third day, the children requested more farm animals. So, of course, I brought out more farm animals for them to include in the bin. This led to completely new renditions of the Little Red Hen. They also commandeered some chairs from around the messy room – the chairs turned into farm houses for the animals. This led to hour-long small world play involving all kinds of farm drama in and out of the sensory bin! It went on for days, with kids picking up where they left off the day before.
I usually change the sensory bins out every week, but this ended up being used consistently for two weeks. The barley and rice mixture is all packed away for use another time!
Do you have any activities that go along with the story of the Little Red Hen? I’d love to hear about them if you do!
Be sure to pop over to Pinterest and check out my Fairy Tale and Folk Tale board!