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under5s - Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Mini Theme

Traditional stories and tales can often be overlooked in planning a theme, inspired by an invitation to the local infant school to watch a puppet show performance of 'Goldilocks', I have developed the idea into a mini theme.

As an Accredited childminder, as well as themed activities, I regularly attended toddler group, story time at the library and music with my Childminding group, during the course of each week. 

When planning a theme, I personally break it down to the areas of learning within the foundation stage, I look at what objectives I am hoping to encourage in my rising 4's, which other children (baby or toddler) will be present and what they can do, and then leave lots of room for flexibility and to develop ideas from the children themselves, and to repeat activities, as repeating reinforces ideas.

I often find it useful to put together a 'prop box' - a box of equipment which the children can access freely with items related to the theme so that they can explore objects and ideas within their own time, develop their own ideas creatively, play independently and learn about sharing. In this case I have included:

  • Goldilocks (a girl puppet)
  • Bear puppets
  • 3 Cuddly Bears (different sizes)
  • 3 Beds
  • 3 bowls and spoons
  • Teddy Bear masks
  • A story about Goldilocks
  • Several books about bears - fact and fiction.
  • A story tape and a tape player.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Teddy's Tea Party - This activity was first implemented as a directed activity and then the props left out to encourage the children to continue independently - the aim of the activity was to promote turn taking, sharing and to help the children to play together.
    Discussions about Goldilocks behaviour - The aim of this activity was to encourage the children to think about what Goldilocks did in the story and whether it was the right or wrong way to behave and to think about what she should have done.
    Play with Feeling Bears - I have a set of bears which show different facial expressions - we used this to talk about how the bears feel when the bed was broken, the porridge eaten and how Goldilocks felt when she woke up for example.
    Free play - with the 'Prop box' and the dolls house (small world play) which helps the children select activities independently and learn through their own initiatives.

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Matching and Counting 3 objects - As Goldilocks is based on three bears, three bowls, three beds and three chairs - there are lots of opportunities to count to three. I asked questions about how many bears you are playing with, how many chairs are broken and can you match the objects to the written number.
    Talk about size - As a childminder, I tend to do lots of walking, to and from school, to different groups etc. and I tend to pick an area of interest to talk about - for this theme I choose size and we looked for large gates, small gates, tall signs, short signs, large cars, small cars and other examples of size.

    Sort objects by size - Small, Medium and Large are easily included, we sort the key objects in the story to size using practical activities and magnetic props. We then group all the small things together for baby bear and then try and find other small objects that he would like. Then we did the same with Daddy bear and Mummy bear in mind
    Physical Development (PD)

    Move like bears - encourage the children to move around the room using their imagination - how might baby bear move (crawling), how Daddy bears moves, how goldilocks creeps around the house, or how she runs when the bears awaken her.
    Hama Beads Bears - the children I have love creating things, and hama beads is great for fine motor skills and hand/eye co-ordination - although you have to watch the little beads with the toddlers - we tend to do it when the baby is asleep.
    Healthy Foods - we talk about the kind of foods the bears like to eat, and of course, we worked together and make a great big bowl of porridge to try.

    Knowledge and Understanding of the World (KUW)

    Play with Hot and Cold Porridge (or dry and wet) - the children can use their senses of touch, taste and smell to examine the porridge and to discover what it can and can not do - I gave them bowls, spoons, and whisks to have fun and experiment.
    Visit the woods - A visit to a local woodland is a great idea, as the children can see for themselves where the cottage for the bears might be, where they went for a walk before breakfast and of course look out for the teddy bears who are out there having their picnics.
    Makaton Video - The Makaton video has lots of songs of it, including one of Goldilocks visiting the house of the bears in sign - a great way to show a different method of communication and that all children have different abilities.

    Creative Development (CD) 

    Role play - set up the bears house, with a table for the porridge and perhaps turn the children into bears (with masks or face paint) and help them to communicate their ideas about the topic through role play.
    Collage- In the story the bears complain that the chair is too hard, the bed is too lumpy - so we explored texture through creating a college using hard, soft, smooth, rough, fluffy and shiny materials.
    Paint Bears - Making marks and free painting is great fun, a large piece of paper and the question 'what does your favourite bear look like?'- can really inspire the children let them imagination flow.
    Puppet Bears - make different size bears on lollipop sticks to enable the children to re-inact the story using their own props at home.
    Create Bear Music - what does creeping sound like, how do the bears sound when they are angry, encourage the children to make sounds or move appropriately to sounds you make.

    Communication, Language and Literacy (CLL)

    Write invites - when inviting the bears to a tea party, don't forget to write the invitations - here is the opportunity to create writing for a purpose - when the invites are written, then we need the shopping list of the things that the bears need to buy.
    Read Story - this is an obvious one, but reading it several times throughout the topic, and reading different versions can help the children enjoy listening stories and to turn their story telling into play.
    Look for Bear Books - why not visit the library and discover what other bear books there are - new and familiar stories, and reinforcing that the text in storied carries meaning - perhaps you will be lucky enough to discover a dual language bear book.

    Retelling stories - with all the inspiration, story telling, prop box and puppets - make sure you allow time to listen to the children telling you their version of the story.
    Puppet Show - the reason of the whole theme - a chance for the children to sustain attention, provide a new experience which we can talk about together, and an opportunity to visit 'big school'.
    Summary:

    Through the mini theme, I do not aim to cover everything within the Foundation Stage Curriculum however over the Foundation Stage (age 3 to end of reception year), I do aim to offer a variety of activities that do provide the children in my care a range of opportunities and experiences which in turn will enable them to grasp a range of skills.

    The above are not the only activities I will do within the topic period, but they will be the ones that are themed and more directed and I have hopefully give you an idea on how you could develop a traditional fairy story, I implemented the above activities over a period of a month.

    Helen Renouf
    Accredited Childminder 

    under5s - Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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