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By Jean EvansEarly Years consultant and author

Inspire children to experiment with adventurous language and empathise with favourite characters using role play and dressing up

Goldilocks girl playing with bear


Activities in this article:

  1. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  2. Bob the Builder
  3. Cross-curricular activities

1. Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Reinforce early counting skills with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy – Numbers as Labels and for Counting

Development matters: Recite some number names in sequence (22–36 months); Recognise groups with one, two or three objects (30–50 months).

Early learning goal: Say and use number names in order in familiar contexts.

What you need

Long safety mirror; dresses for Goldilocks; brown card; three brown tabards or jumpers; chairs, bowls, spoons and beds in different sizes; role play area resources; ‘Bear circle-time cards’.

What to do

  • Read the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ so that all children are familiar with the tale. While you are reading, reinforce the three items Goldilocks encounters with counting on fingers and drawing images or displaying corresponding bowls or chairs that would be suitable for the different-sized bears.
  • Transform the role play area into a house for the three bears with large, medium and small versions of chairs, beds and dishes. Encourage children to make the three items using junk modelling resources, construction kits and cardboard boxes.
  • Ask parents to donate brown jumpers and party dresses that the children have grown out of to help resource your dressing-up box. Make bear masks from brown card.
  • Hang the dressing-up clothes alongside a long mirror and encourage children to try on dresses for Goldilocks and admire themselves in their bear tabards. Talk about how they have changed in appearance and encourage the children to develop a character voice to suit the costume. Use the ‘Bears circle-time cards’ to explore different types of bears.
  • Support play by visiting the house in role; for example, as a friend popping in for a drink and encouraging children to count out groups of one, two and three objects as they develop their own versions of the story.
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