"Jack and the Beanstalk" is a classic tale of a little fella getting the best of the big guy, by literally climbing to the top and beating the giant at his own game. If your kids are looking for something fun to help them while away a few rainy hours, read with them the story of Jack and the beanstalk, then try these boredom-erasing activities.
"Jack and the Beanstalk" Activity Book
Use your printer to create a free activity and colouring book for those rainy days when kids are stuck inside. Download some of the great mazes, cryptograms, colouring pages and other activities that you can find online, at Print Activities. Give kids a piece of poster board the same size as the paper, along with scraps of ribbons, lace, yarn, odds and ends of buttons, sequins and so on. Let them create their version of the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story on the poster board to craft the cover of their very own activity book. Staple pages together with the decorated cover on top.
"Jack and the Beanstalk" Game
Give kids a large piece of poster board and some colourful markers. Help them draw a twisting green bean vine on the board and divide it into little squares to make a path for game pieces to move on. Use construction paper or small boxes, to make a house at the bottom for "home" and a castle at the top where the giant lives, with cotton ball clouds glued in between. Kids can fill in with colourful, hand drawn pictures of the room where the magic harp is stored, the goose that lays golden eggs and other scenes from the story. Along the way, some of the squares can say things like "take an extra turn for escaping the giant, skip ahead 3 places for capturing the magic harp" and so on. Paint beans different colours with poster paints to use as game pieces, and use dice to determine the number of moves to take. The first one up to the castle and back home wins.
Jack and the Beanstalk Puppet Theater
Decorate a cardboard box to look like a stage (complete with curtain made from scrap fabric). Cut one or two large holes in the back of the box for kids to insert their hands through. Let the kids create puppets of Jack, Jack's mother, the Giant, the giant's wife, the peddler and cow by decorating small paper sacks. Kids can glue on yarn for hair, draw or use buttons for eyes, felt or construction paper to make clothing, hands and feet, the cow's horns and tail and so on. Have one child read the story while others act out the parts using puppets operated from behind the box, through the cutout holes.
Grow Magic Beans
Let kids plant a pot of "magic" beans, just as Jack did. Give kids a few beans to plant in a large pot to which potting soil has been added. While waiting for beans to sprout, have the kids round up a selection of sturdy sticks. Help them put three long sticks together and tie at one end with strong twine. Spread the sticks apart at the other end to create a tripod, then tie shorter sticks across from one leg to another to create a trellis. When the beans begin to grow, kids can help to train them on their hand made trellis.