The Three Little Pigs is such a classic story.
And with a wealth of published retellings, too.
But yet, each new crop of little ones just adores this story. Our kids’ favorite version is our own oral retelling at bedtime. They love it when we use their names as the names of the little pigs. When we added our fourth child, the kids didn’t miss a beat. They insisted we add another pig. The fourth pig’s house is usually made of food, chocolate or candy preferably, and fills the big bad wolf up so he leaves those little pigs alone.
The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, from Scholastic this spring, also plays on solving that hunger problem. Once the wolf is full, he’s not in such a bad mood and is able to play quite nicely with the three little pigs. But what I love most about this version is that when the pigs are sent on their way, they are given money to help make their way in the world. (They are released from a farmer who is retiring to Florida.)
Then the three little pigs must make choices about how to spend their money which leads to variability in building materials. The preschool and kindergarten introduction to social studies is a unit on needs versus wants. I immediately loved this illustration of how different people, or pigs in this case, can fill their needs and wants with the same resources but in very different ways. And since money is also a great math unit for young learners, it seemed a story store was in order!
The Three Little Pigs Story Store
Materials and Set Up:
- bundles of straw (we used grass clippings; it was quite long!)
- bundles of sticks (we have a plethora of sticks lying about our yard)
- rocks and dirt (representing bricks and mortar)
- play money
- your child’s favorite food items
- price tags
Set up the store on an easily accessible table or even spread out a blanket on the ground. Arrange the items and attach the price tags.
How Little Ones Can Help
We gathered crass clippings together and put them in a big pile. The littlest ones in our family also love collecting sticks so this was a fun task for them. The older two helped me bundle the grass and sticks and held the bundles while I tied. The most fun for the girls was arranging the store while Scott loved playing with the mortar and rocks. The kids also helped me decide on prices for various products.
If I try to do all the set up and present them with an activity like this, my little ones are not as interested in it. Plus, I don’t really have that much time where they are engaged in an activity without me that I could pull a whole store together like this one. I’ve tried and I’ always get too frustrated with the process before we get to the playing part. So I decided the whole process is the playing part. That has changed our structured play tremendously! Their creativity flourishes when they are invited to create the set up with me. We all have a lot more fun!
Play Money Ideas
We have play money from our game, Monopoly Jr, or from our toy register in our play kitchen. I also love this idea from Nurture Store to paint numbers on leaves. You can turn fall leaves into money by painting the numbers on the leaves. To keep it simple for little ones, I would paint a 1 on all of the leaves. Then they can just count out the number of leaves they need to buy their items. For older children, you could have some leaves with 5 or even 10 and they can practice making change.