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The Little Red Hen Small World

The Little Red Hen Small World

My daughter has been reading The Little Red Hen at school. She had mentioned the story to me several days before. She said she had been making The Little Red Hen at school and how she had enjoyed adding feathers. I was so pleased she had shared part of her day with me. I always love when she opens up and tells me what she's been up to. 

It was a busy day as always in our house at the moment and I stood in the mirror attempting to put my make up on with the twins pulling at my trouser legs to get my attention. I looked over to see what Neve was up to as I could see her hands moving around watching herself in the mirror. 
She began to retell the whole story from memory using sign language as she went. My jaw hit the floor and I wanted to burst with pride. This story had really connected with her. In her own time, away from school she was happily going over the story to herself. 

That night I couldn't wait for Neve to show her Dad what she had been learning. He too was really impressed. I wanted to create a set up for her linked to the Little Red Hen, so that night once she went to bed - I set something up for her for the next day.

The Little Red Hen Small World

I had a quick look through the book and picked out CVC and high frequency words. I wrote them randomly around a black tray we use for sensory play with our chalk marker pens.
I then popped online to see what resources I could locate that would help me with this set up. Twinkl and Sparklebox offered the resources I needed and once I had them all printed out, I started to put it altogether. 

The Little Red Hen Small World

The invitation to play looked like this:

The Little Red Hen Small World

(Apologise for the light on the next couple of photos. Autumn has landed in the UK now and the lighting isn't the best that's for sure.)

Although I had added the story and props for the Little Red Hen, I didn't tell Neve that. I wanted her to uncover it all as she wanted to play. She started off by enjoying it as a small world farm. The framer went around feeding the animals and she quickly began to find words under the contents.

The Little Red Hen Small World

How fabulous are the puppets? Print, cut out and stick on the back of a lolly stick and you have a set of props to accompany any play invitation.
You can see this set on Twinkl. They didn't have a pig in their set unlike our story so I managed to get the pig puppet from their Three Little Pig set.

The Little Red Hen Small World

Neve was puzzled as to why I had included a pig puppet as the story she had been reading at school had a bull not a pig. This gave us a great opportunity to talk about Traditional stories.
I explained that Traditional stories have been around for a very long time. They have been told by thousands and thousands of people. Lots of books have been made relating to these stories but every book tells a slightly different story.

The Little Red Hen Small World

She pushed the puppets down into the wheat bisks and found the crunching noise appealing. She did this over and over as she retold the story, moving the puppets from one bisk to the other. Before long the bisks began to break up.

The Little Red Hen Small World

At this point the play changed direction completely. We had gone from a farm, to The Little Red Hen onto a donuts making factory. She added her ingredients, often making names up for them as she went. She was picking up ad exploring the materials between her finger tips and commented on the noises she could hear as they fell back down into the tray.

This is the beauty with Learning Through Play and having that child/adult led balance just right. There to assist but not to dictate what should represent what and what the theme and focus of the play should be. It wasn't part of my plan for it to end up as a doughnuts making workshop, but so much was achieved by allowing her the opportunity to do this.

The Little Red Hen Small World

She ended up using the sticks I had popped into the tray to thread on raisins. She went on to talk about Funky Fingers that she does at school. It was something I didn't know she did, so it made her open up and give me an insight to her day.

The Little Red Hen Small World

Towards the end the puppets came back into play... She had scooped up all the materials and stick the hen in the middle. She said the little hen was put ontop of the bonfire.... We have bonfire night approaching and I was very impressed that she knew all she did about the occasion as its not something we have spoken about yet. So that was something else I learnt about her learning in school. 

Lets take a look at the Small World in action:

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Have you joined our Learning Through Play GROUP yet? Its the place you can be inspired by other like minded people and share your photos to inspire too! We have everything being shared from Outdoor Areas, Tuff Trays, Dens, Literacy set ups, Funky Fingers and endless crafts!

You can request to join our GROUP here - Learning and Exploring Through Play GROUP

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Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World
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