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Goldilocks and the 3 Bears- A Preschool STEM activity

March 24, 2018Jenny

Fairytale STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is a popular topic in the Early Years world. The combination of classic stories with other disciplines works well and is often a favourite with young children as the activities bring the tales to life. This week we looked at Goldilocks and the Three Bears from a STEM angle; measuring, counting and exploring relative sizes were all part of the activity. This blog post contains affiliate links to items we have used.

I set the game up with a copy of the fairytale, number cards from a snap game, these puppets The Puppet Company – Traditional Story Sets – Goldilocks & the Three Bears Finger Puppet Set (affiliate link), some bowls, spoons and oats.

Little soon got involved with scooping and measuring out the oats.

Who needs the most? Daddy bear is the biggest so he needs the most porridge. Baby bear is small so he doesn’t need very much. 

Little came to above conclusion, using skills of observation to assess relative sizes. This might sound obvious, but by working this out for himself he was processing the story and re-telling it.

1, 2, 3- there are three bowls. But what about Goldilocks? She will be hungry, too. I need to give her some porridge so she won’t pinch the bears’. 

I hadn’t considered this aspect of play; empathy for the characters. Children are remarkably forgiving and empathic towards others; even though Goldilocks had made some silly choices in the book, she still needed feeding! I love the logic here, too- by providing her a bowl, he was preventing her from stealing in the future!

Our game evolved after a while, into a porridge bath for all of the puppet characters. If you wanted to take it further, there are all sorts of ways to extend the activitity. I like the following resources which could all be used to develop ideas, or even expand them over the course of a week. These would all work well; either at home or in an early years setting:

  1. These bear counters are brilliant for looking at number, size and grouping by colour: Learning Resources Three Bear Family Counter Set – 6 Colours
  2. This set of scales could be used to take the weighing/measuring aspect one step further: Learning Resources Primary Bucket Balance with Baby Bear Counters
  3. This bear jigsaw would be great for working on fine motor skills as well as building vocabulary around clothes and getting dressed: Melissa&Doug Mix ‘n Match Wooden Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle With Storage Case (45 pcs)
  4. These masks could fit nicely into a story bag, sack or basket for imaginary play: Teaching Resource Sack – Goldilocks & the 3 Bears Story Play Mask Set
  5. These number fans would work well one to one or with a small group of children: Learning Resources Three Bear Family Number Fans

Have you ever used a fairytale to start learning about STEM? I’d love to hear your ideas!

*Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links to products similar to ones we have used. If you purchase though the links, I may receive a small percentage of the profits to support the running of this blog. This will not affect the cost of the products to the buyer. 


Goldilocks and the 3 bears- a preschool STEM activity. Blog post contains affiliate links. #preschoolstem #STEAM #Fairytales

Comments (6)

  • Katie Davies

    March 29, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Iv heard of STEM play previously but never really looked into however I have to say this does look pretty good. I love the game too will be trying some of these with my little ones

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      Brilliant- yes, there is lots on STEM online- check our Pinterest for more ideas.

  • Joanna Bayford

    March 29, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Love this such a fun idea! #TacticalTuesdays

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you

  • Malin

    April 2, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Love this, especially as Penguin was so happy with some porridge oat sensory play we did recently! Not sure he’d be able to stop himself from just feeling the oats with his hands and forget about the counting and measuring… but it could be worth a try! ??xx

    1. Jenny

      April 4, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Yes- well they all learn in different ways- he might enjoy it with a set of scales to add to the play, too?

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