Jack and the Beanstalk Sensory Bin and Story Retelling Activity

Table of contents for Jack and the Beanstalk

  1. Jack and the Beanstalk: Different Versions to Share with Kids

This month the members of the Poppins Book Nook are reading and sharing about fairy tales. We had so much fun with our Jack and the Beanstalk activities last year that I thought we’d revisit this story again in a different way. As usual I wanted to come up with something that both the toddlers and preschoolers could enjoy and learn from together. This Jack and the Beanstalk sensory bin and retelling craft was just perfect for all of the kids.

Jack and the Beanstalk Pretend Play and Sensory Bin

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I started with a 15 quart plastic bin to house sensory bin components. Then we added pinto beans, green glass  beads, lima beans painted gold to represent the magic beans, our alphabet leaves from last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk reading activities, and some green scoops.

The toddlers loved this sensory bin, and they both spent a lot of time throughout the week pouring, scooping, and digging for magic beans. Tinker also enjoyed searching for the alphabet leaves and asking us to name the letters for her. Of course, I supervised the kids closely to make sure none of the contents were put in their mouths.

Jack and the Beanstalk Sensory Bin

For the story retelling and pretend play component we re-purposed the craft we used for our Jack and the Beanstalk math activities last year.

I cut a hole in the lid of an oatmeal canister and inserted the cardboard tube. Then I covered the canister with green felt and placed the whole “beanstalk” in a corner of the sensory bin.

Jack and the Beanstalk Retelling Activity

The printable we used for last year’s games included retelling pieces that are great for classroom use and would have worked well for this activity, but when I saw these adorable Superhero Clothespin Wrap Dolls on Twodaloo I immediately wanted to make something like them for us to play with here. With a couple inexpensive materials I created the main characters from the story.

Visit This Heart of Mine for the full tutorial. You’ll want to see how easy it is to make your own. Mine are not nearly as crafty and fantastic as the ones at Twodaloo or This Heart of Mine, but they held up to a lot of pretend play and I think they’ll get a lot of use as we create more friends for the girls to add to their collection.

Here’s our full cast of retelling characters…

Jack and the Beanstalk Story Retelling Characters

The clothespins helped them stand up in the sensory bin, so that gave Lovey even more ways to play and interact with the characters.

Jack and the Beanstalk retelling pieces

The Giant kept watch over the castle, and Lovey had fun going back and forth between retelling versions where he was a nice giant and an angry giant.

Giant craft from Jack and the Beanstalk

Below are a few of our favorite versions Jack and the Beanstalk.

Now it’s your turn to share! Link up your fairy tale posts.  

You can learn more about the Poppins Book Nook and see more of the posts shared this month on our Facebook page.

Upcoming themes-Plan ahead, and join in the fun!



Previous themes-Take a look at all of the great book activities shared!

Knights, Princesses, & Castles


Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Life


Beach and Ocean

Below is a list of the bloggers participating in the Poppins Book Nook.

Stop by and see what they are sharing this month.

This post has been shared at some of these fantastic link parties.

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  1. I can’t wait to make one of these. I think my son could play with it for hours. Thanks for the tips. I featured this on Mom’s Library today at ready-set-read. Thanks for linking up.

  2. LOVE, love, LOVE this!! You did such an amazing job pulling it together!!

  3. Shaunna, thank you so much for posting! So very creative, and fun, and pretty, and educational! Loooove it!

  4. What a magical sensory bin!! The beanstalk and the dolls are just adorable 🙂

  5. I love all these ideas!!

  6. Oh my word, this is amazing! So needed this idea when we had our Jack week! Might have to have another week in the future! We loved all of our Jack activities!

    • Thanks so much, Carisa! I love all the sensory and messy play you’ve been including lately. I bet you guys could have a lot of fun with another Jack week. There are so many neat versions of the story to read and compare. We’ll be revisiting the theme again for sure.

  7. This is amazing! I love how 3-D dimensional it is.

    • Thank you! It was definitely a different kind of sensory bin than we’ve had before, but it turned out really neat.

  8. What a cute and original sensory bin! You’ve got me inspired to make some sensory bins based on books. 🙂

  9. This bin is incredible! I *LOVE* it!

  10. Love this! I especially love the clothespin people! Just pinned to my sensory bins to extend stories board!

  11. This is so cute! I’m sure all the kids loved the bin. I haven’t shared Jack and the Beanstalk with my kids yet, but this is a great idea for extending the learning.

  12. Could this be any more awesome?! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!

  13. This is super cute! I love the gold beans and the clothespin dolls!

  14. I love this! It is a simple and great way for the kids to interact with the whole story. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Sarah! It was a great tool for helping Lovey practice retelling. Now she wants to know what story we’ll be making a bin for next!

  15. Very cute sensory bin! Love the little dolls!

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