Jack and the Beanstalk

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Developed by:Nosy Crow


Ages 5-7

A wonderful adaptation of a traditional fairytale, we love this app for its engaging and empowering features such as rewarding a child’s success in a game-like task with more story. Children drive the story forward by helping Jack each step of the way and are drawn into a magical world while doing so.

Get Ready

Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:

  1. Storytime.Share books of fairytales with your child, including Jack and the Beanstalk. Try a collection such as A Handful of Beans by Jeanne and William Steig. Then when you are using the app, ask your child what parts of the Jack and the Beanstalk story are similar to other versions, and where it otherwise differs. See if they are able to recognize any other fairytales within the app.
  2. Sacrifice.Talk about the meaning of sacrifice with your child, in this case, an act of giving up something that you want to keep in order to help someone or achieve something. Help your child think through Jack’s sacrifice as you read the story. Ask them if they have ever sacrificed something, reminding them that it could be something small, too (in other words, it need not be as big as a cow!).


Dive In

Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:

  1. Dialogue.The characters in Jack and the Beanstalk have a lot to say, and your child is able to prompt them by tapping them with a finger. In each scene, ask your child to try and anticipate and invent lines that the characters might say. What would your child say if they were Jack’s mother and had just discovered he had traded their cow for mere beans? If they were a giant interrupted in the middle of a good nap?
  2. Extend the Story.Jack trades Daisy for ten magic beans. The strange-looking man has an entire suitcase full of magic beans, though. Ask your child some of the following questions: Who is the strange looking man? What do the other magic beans grow into? Can they image a story of another character, a little girl perhaps, who trades something else for beans? What does she trade and to what adventures do the beans lead? Other story extension prompts could include questions about the characters and events in the castle: the dragon, the broken mirror, etc.
  3. Character Connections.In what ways does Jack act bravely in the story? When is he clever? Tell your child to think about these questions as you read, and then, after the story ends, ask them to remember a time when they were brave. Why did that specific moment take courage? Do they have a memory of a time they were particularly clever?

Branch Out

Extend the app experience with these real life activities:

  1. Magic “Beans.”Jack’s magic beans grew into something spectacular. Give your child the tools to watch something grow and change. Pick out some seeds to plant together—make your choice based on the type of climate you live in, whether you want something edible or decorative, whether you will be growing the seeds indoors or outdoors, and, if they will be outdoors, whether you want a plant just for a season or something that will return each year. The staff at a nursery can help you make a selection. Then set your child to work, and teaching them how to care for the plant(s) and giving them the responsibility of continuing to do so over time. Take pictures of the seeds before and as they grow so you can admire the magic that takes place!
  2. Giant’s Tale.Encourage your child to retell the story of Jack and the Beanstalk from the Giant’s perspective. Can the Giant become a protagonist, or a character that readers and listeners would like and sympathize with? How does the Giant view Jack?
  3. Giant Feet.Help your child create giant footprints by drawing oversized feet onto a piece of sturdy cardboard or foam core. Then assist them in cutting out the feet, especially if using foam core. Urge your child to decorate the feet with markers and/or paint. When they finish, punch a hole on both sides of each foot and lace a big piece of string or long shoe lace through each, long enough to tie the footprints to your child’s feet or shoes. The next time you have the opportunity to go to the beach or be near a yard full of snow, your child can leave some fabulous giant footprints to scare off the neighbor’s grumpy dog!