First read a traditional version of the story. After reading a traditional version of The Princess and the Pea try out an alternate telling, like The Very Smart Pea and the Princes-to-Be by Mini Grey, The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas by Tony Wilson, or The Penguin and the Pea by Janet Perlman.
Then get down to re-enacting the story. Not only is this a great fairytale, it also has some great math tie-ins. Remember, there are twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds on top of that pea.
First collect the resources: forty pillows, blankets, or fabric squares and a ruler. Count the twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds with your child. If pillows/fabric squares have repeated colors or designs make a pattern as you stack and ask your child to follow the pattern as s/he adds more squares. When you’re finished stacking, help your child measure the resulting bed.
To add to the fun, let your child climb on top of the bed and be the princess/prince (or if the bed is too small for a child, a stuffed animal could substitute).
For more great ideas, see Life in First Grade by Leslie Ann.
Posted by Melendra.