The Little Red Hen Crafts and
Lesson Plan Printable Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Themes Activities Materials
Alphabet > Letter H > H is for Hen

Animals > Farm > Chicken

Books > Folk tales | Fairy Tales | Online stories > The Little Red Hen

Community Helpers > Baker | Farmer

Several printable Crafts for the story

Farm Animals Coloring Pages >  For felt board characters and | or puppets

Holidays & Events > Various chicken - hen theme events

Nutrition > Grains food group Recipes

The Little Red Hen is an old folktale, most likely of Russian origin. folktale that has been passed on from storyteller to storyteller for many generations before it was written down.

In all versions, the little red hen is a hard working character.  Most of the versions have a lazy cat, the other characters may be farm animals or animals that may be found at a farm.  Sometimes these characters are dozing off, sleeping or just playing.  Sometimes the hen bakes bread, a cake, muffins, and yes in one version the hen bakes a pizza!  The animals don't want to help and the hen does not share what she has baked, well, with one exception.  The hen does share the pizza in a contemporary version you may want to explore.

Preparation for activities:
Secure a book at your libray, video or online version (selections below) that best meets the needs of the children's age and tastes.  A book with rich illustrations is highly recommended for this activity, followed by the use of flannel board characters and other support materials.  Below are a number of book suggestions with age guidelines.

Review and prepare all printable mateirals  printable crafts, and other online resources to select those that match the characters in the book selected.  Review all other craft materials needed.   You may want to include a cooking/baking activity, sampling different types of bread or other baked goods for a snack or a visit to a local bakery.

Here are some picture book suggestions with links @ to locate at a nearby library:
The Little Red Hen
by Byron Barton, 1993 - This collage-like version is ideal for toddlers and preschool level.  It is a favorite of young children and emergent readers. Little Red Hen bakes bread.  Characters > hen's chicks, pig, duck and cat

The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone, 1985, ages 4-8, but this can also be enjoyed by children 3+.  Available in video format (length: eight minutes) by Weston Woods/Scholastic, the video is an exact representation of the book - these videos are usually available at the local library. Hen bakes a cake.  Characters:  cat, dog, and mouse

The Little Red Hen: (Makes Pizza) by Philemon Sturges -  Ages 4-8 (younger readers may enjoy it as well) This time Little Red Hen shares with her lazy neighbors, after which they help with the dishes and instead of baking bread or cake, it is pizza!  Hurrah!  A fun and great lesson in sharing.  Characters:  duck, dog and cat

The Little Red Hen (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Lucinda McQueen - Ages 4-8 Another wonderful choice, very colorful and not easily forgotten.  Characters:  goose, cat and dog.

This is a short list and there are many other wonderful versions to choose from at your local library.  You may consider presenting more than just one version.

Activity > Online Story time >

Version 1:  The Little Red Hen
at Starfall (for a bird and autumn theme)
Here is a beautifully illustrated version online.  In this version the Little Red Hen's friends are all birds:  a duck, a goose and a turkey.  The Little Red Hen bakes muffins.  This is an opportunity to focus on the theme of birds, autumn and Thanksgiving holiday.

Version 2:  The Little Red Hen
at Gullah Net in English [Flash player required]
Little Red Hen's lazy friends are:  a duck, a dog, and Kitty the cat. Little Red Hen bakes delicious bread.

Version 3The Little Red Hen PBS Between the Lions YouTube channel > focus on colors
This version is excellent to focus on colors with the little red hen, little black dog, little orange cat and little yellow goose!  Little Red Hen bakes bread!

Here are a series of activities for The Little Red Hen.  This story can be revisited again and again as children grow to explore different aspects of it and other educational themes.

Activity 1 >  Reading / Story Discussion and Possible Themes to Explore (Age Recommendations)
Reading and discussing this story will greatly vary depending on the age of the children.

For children  ages 2-3 is probably best to keep the discussion simple, focus on:
1. The repetition of the story and having them participate in role playing with (an easy craft below) puppets and/or felt board characters.   
2.  Some basic discussion about the process of  planting, harvesting and final product,  the baked good and how important it is to eat wheat and other grain related products (have a stalk of wheat for demonstration-found at craft store).  
3.  Sharing and helping is good!
4. Snack Time:  A fun and easy baking or bread tasting activity.  Suggestion: Bake bread in a bread machine if available, easy and children can help measure the water, flour, etc.
5.  Music:  Singing a portion of the story - link below.

For children 4-6 there's a great deal more that can be discussed during separate activities or depending on the age.
*Character/Moral message:  Cooperation & sharing in more depth
*Arts & Crafts:  Various suggestions for crafts to make to support the story that allow the children to be creative in making one of the characters of the story and engage in dramatic play.
*Farm Theme:  This story can definitely be incorporated in a farm themed unit, and the importance and contributions of the hen/chicken and other characters to the farm.
*Science/Plants:  The process of wheat planting, caring, harvesting, milling process, baking and nutritional value of the final baked good.
*Nutrition:  The nutritional value of products derived from the wheat, food pyramid - breads and grains.
*Fun in the Kitchen & Math:  Baking bread (a bread making machine is great for the classroom), cookies, pizza, or a cake is a great opportunity to practice measuring and counting.
*Music:  Singing a portion of the story - link below.

Select from some of the support materials below: crafts, coloring pages (for flannel board characters and puppets), and online resources that can be incorporated for presenting the story and the children will actively participate in the process.

Activity 2: Arts & Crafts:
Story Character Crafts > Visit the farm theme to find crafts and activities for the characters.
Felt board characters or easy hand puppets using coloring page images (Ages 2+) >

Choose easy to cut and color coloring images for the characters in the farm animals coloring pages.

Print coloring pages directly to construction paper or craft paper in a complimentary color and then cut out, glue or tape a piece of sand paper to stick to a flannel board.  Laminate and use dry erase markers to write letters or words over the characters.

Easy hand puppets &  coloring painting activity
*If you have limited time, this could be an easy craft/coloring activity using crayons or paints and some additional materials to decorate the coloring page images suggested above.
*Children can help cut out the images after decorating/coloring them (great scissor practice for older children)  and glue or tape to a craft stick/Popsicle stick or drinking straw to make a puppet.
*Have the children work in teams to color and decorate the puppet.

Online resource:  Webbing into Literacy: The Little Red Hen Activity Card: (PDF Format only) > This activity card can be used at home or as a take home activity to reinforce the story.

Complementary Lesson Plans:
Letter H Hen Printable Activities >
Introduce or practice letter H with a set of printable activities and mini-book  

Community Helper - The Baker Activities
> Little Red Hen is a baker in the story. A complimentary set of activities to this story would be to introduce the baker as a community helper.

Community Helper - The Farmer Activity (and Little Boy Blue Nursery Rhyme)
The Little Red Hen exhibits the typical responsibilities of a farmer.  A complimentary activity to this story would be to introduce the farmer as a community helper -- refer to this activity which includes an Easy Farmer Shapes Craft.

Baking | Sequencing | Nutrition
Suggestion for a baking activity, a printable baking sequencing activity.

Main Character
Little Red Hen

Easy Shapes Little Red Hen

Large & small
Little Red Hen Stand-up Crafts

Farm animals crafts & printable activities

Letter H Hen Printable Activities

Farm animals
coloring pages

for hand puppets and flannel board

Many other links to online supplementary materials in the activities column

Optional:  Stalk of wheat found at floral or craft shop.

To view updates to these activities visit: