This Charlotte’s Web Book Theme is based on the best-selling children’s chapter book by E. B. White. The story centers around a pig named Wilbur, a spider named Charlotte, two farm families, and other colorful barnyard animals. The latter part of the story celebrates the sights, sounds, and excitement of a country fair.
For a summary of the book, click here:
E. B. White is quoted as saying that he wrote Charlotte’s Web for children, and for his own enjoyment. But I thoroughly relished rereading the tale through an adult lens.
Charlotte’s Web Book Theme Activities
There is plenty of inspiration in the story for farm and country themed early learning activities.
SENSORY BIN: WILBUR’S PEN
Inspiration: When Wilbur gets a little bigger, he is moved to the barn on Mr. Zuckerman’s farm.
Offer a sensory tub for your child with the following items:
- brown rice base
- fence pieces
- large spider
- baby spiders
- cookie cutter spider web
- cotton batting
- sign over Wilbur’s pen
- wooden alphabet letters
- white pearl beads
- pink gems
- black and pink buttons
- pink straws
SMALL WORLD: HAYING TIME
Inspiration: July is haying time on the farm. The barn is overstuffed with hay, and Fern and Avery Arable enjoy riding on the hay wagon.
Set up a sensory tub farmyard scene for your early learner with the following:
- kraft colored shredded paper hay
- tractor and hay wagon
- farm animals
- farmer, boy, and girl figurines
- fences and trees
ART: DAISY CROWN
Inspiration: In the farmyard, Fern makes a crown out of daisies.
Invite your child to decorate a paper headband with paper, craft, or real daisies. You can download the headband pattern below.
This printable was created in PicMonkey and is for personal or one classroom use only.
GROUP GAME: WHAT’S IN MY POCKET
Inspiration: During his play outside, Avery puts a frog and a snake in his pocket.
Have one child in a group stand behind a divider and hide a snake or frog in a pocket.
Pick another child in the group to guess whether a snake or frog has been slipped into the pocket.
If a child isn’t wearing clothing with a pocket, one can be made from sturdy cardstock paper. Cut out a pants pocket, and glue it onto an 8 1/2 inch x 11-inch piece of cardstock.
SENSORY TUB: TEMPLETON’S TREASURES
Inspiration: Templeton, the barn rat, is a “packrat” and finds everything interesting and useful to collect.
Offer a sensory tub with the following items:
- kraft colored paper shred
- rat figurine
- recycled items
- play food
- kind words cut from newspaper advertisements
SENSORY GAME: HOPPING FROGS
Inspiration: One of Avery’s frogs jumps into Mrs. Zuckerman’s dishpan full of soapy water.
Have your child flip hopping frogs into a tray filled with soapy water.
ART: BUTTERMILK PAINTING
Inspiration: Mrs. Zuckerman gives Wilbur a buttermilk bath the morning he is taken to the fair.
Using a sponge brush, invite your early learner to spread buttermilk with a little sugar in it (to add shine) over a pale pink paper pig.
Or have your child decorate the pig with white poster paint.
GROUP GAME: GUESS THE HAND
Inspiration: Avery and Fern get quarters, dimes and nickels to spend at the fair.
Ask one child to stand behind a divider and hide a coin in one hand. Invite another child to guess which hand the coin is in.
MATH: COUNT THE EGGS
Inspiration: In the barn, a goose lays eggs. Each time, mention is made of how many she lays.
Set out an egg carton with plastic or real cooked unshelled eggs. Ask your early learner to add some of the eggs to a shredded paper nest and pick the corresponding wooden number.
The book Charlotte’s Web offers a treasury of inspiration for early learning activities. And if you haven’t read the tale for awhile, curl up in your favorite spot and give it a read!
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© Annette Kaminsky