Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard lesson plan

  • 1.

    Nursery rhymes are a traditional source of delight for young children. Recite poetry spontaneously. Combine language and thinking skills with nutrition concepts using Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Old Mother Hubbard Old Mother Hubbard, Went to the cupb

  • 2.

    Children who are experienced sorters (see Sorting Boxes), and who have knowledge about food sources (see Animal or Plant?) are more likely to be successful at this activity.

  • 3.

    Collect clean, empty food containers representing the food categories in the USDA Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children: grains, vegetables, milk, fruit, and meat. For more information, go to

  • 4.

    Bring clean, empty food containers from home to illustrate the poem "Old Mother Hubbard."

  • 5.

    Make Mother Hubbard’s empty cupboard.Divide poster board into five sections with Crayola® Washable Markers. Label the shelves with these foods: grains, vegetables, milk, fruit, and meat. Draw pictures to help you remember the words. Add shelf paper or ot

  • 6.

    Sort recycled food containers onto each shelf so Mother Hubbard and her dog can eat again. Where would you put macaroni and cheese? Peanut butter? Pizza? Talk it over with friends. Find more information to help you decide.

  • 7.

    When you finish sorting, use the containers for pretend play. Could you stock the kitchen, open a grocery, or run a restaurant? Find an interesting way to use the boxes.


  • Asking Questions
  • Reading Pictures
  • Vocabulary
  • Physical: Healthy Habits
  • Social & Emotional: Negotiating
  • Social & Emotional: Pretend Play
  • Thinking: Observing
  • Thinking: Problem Solving
  • Thinking: Understanding Concepts