Isn’t it amazing that the classic fairytales we all grew up with are still much loved by our children? And do you notice how they always come in threes – The Three Little Pigs, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and, of course (one of our personal favourites), Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
You’d be surprised at how many opportunities for learning there are in this timeless story, a key concept being the mathematical one of size – small, medium and large. Placing objects in order of size is the foundation of learning measurement. The story also includes use of lots of descriptive language with phrases such as too hot, too cold, too hard and too soft, and the repetition of the story makes it a memorable one for young children to retell and act out. It also provides a fantastic invitation to play imaginatively!
I set myself the challenge to recreate the story with Miss 3 using toys and materials found around our home. No buying anything new!! We started off choosing three teddy bears of three different sizes, carefully considering which would be best to play Daddy, Mummy and Baby. Next we started looking at what we could use for their beds – I think the laundry basket made the perfect Daddy Bear bed! Of course, Miss 3 insisted all the beds needed mattresses, blankets and pillows. Very important attention to detail! Here she is tucking them all in.
Next we needed chairs. The little cane beauties are hand me downs from Miss 3’s Great Nana. Then it was off to the kitchen to find three bowls and three spoons to complete the scene (if you were feeling really brave you could find something to use as the porridge – dry oats, playdough, rice…). My little Miss loved pretending to feed the bears. A few additions from her play kitchen were added (you’ll see that Daddy Bear is being spoon fed a doughnut!).
Now who could be Goldilocks? We didn’t have a doll with golden hair, so a sweet little handmade poppet got to play the lead roll in our imaginary play. It was really enthralling to observe Miss M’s imagination and creativity during this play session. Of course she went off on some of her own tangents and didn’t stick to the story, but that is exactly what play is about!
Do your children have a favourite classic fairy tale?