This year we are doing a lot of Fairy Tale and Folk Tale Activities for Kids, including crafts, kids kitchen activities, and even pretend play based on the stories.
This month we have been focusing on Jack and the Beanstalk, and I’m excited to share with you this Jack and the Beanstalk Craft & Activity of building a diorama for pretend play.
Some might call this a “small world” – a current pretend play trend that I am loving – but to me, this is a diorama because we are focusing more on creating a model of something rather than creating a sensory play activity.
We started off by reading the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk, and then took a few minutes to discuss what we remembered and liked about the story.
Next, I asked the children where the story takes place. This was the first introduction to “story settings” for all of them and they did great describing what they considered to be the “three scenes” of the Jack and the Beanstalk story:
- Jack’s Farm
- the Woods where Jack traded the cow for beans
- the Giant’s castle in the clouds
There was some discussion whether the Beanstalk counted as a scene, but the children decided that it wasn’t.
I asked the children if they would like to “build the story” of Jack and the Beanstalk and they were so excited!
Materials for Jack and the Beanstalk Diorama
- Medium-sized cardboard box
- Blue or white paint
- White or blue construction paper for the sky
- Paint brushes
- White glue
- Cotton balls for the clouds
- Paper towel roll
- Green paint or construction paper for the bean stalk
- Green felt for the grass
- Small boxes for the farm and castle (or miniature toy versions you may already have)
- Toy harp (or make one like we did here)
- Two play figurines
- Miniature cow toy
I decanted our white glue into a small jar and provided paintbrushes, which is easier for kids to apply than trying to squeeze a glue bottle with equal pressure.
We painted the glue onto the top of our box and attached the cotton balls to the glue.
While this dried, we painted our “sky” – a piece of light blue bristol board. Rather than paint white clouds, or green hills, we decided that our sky needed blue sparkly paint!
We painted our paper towel tube green and I asked the children if they wanted to cut out and attach some construction paper leaves, but they were not interested.
You could use small boxes for Jack’s farm and the Giant’s castle, and decorate them accordingly, but we opted to use small houses from our Hape Farm and our Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs Set (Read our review of our Haba farm here.)
We also used the play mat from the Hape Farm, but green felt would be great for the bottom of the diorama.
You could make your own trees for the woods, but again we borrowed some from our Hape set.
We used the harp and Music-Playing Fairy from our Playmobil set, but our Golden Harp craft would also work well.
Encourage the children to play with their diorama and reenact the activity with the figures. We included some scented Jelly Belly erasers for the “magic beans,” or you could make some golden beans like we did for our magic bean counting activity.
What do you think? Would you try to build a simple diorama for pretend play with your kids?
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