We are huge fans of storysacks and they promote lots of learning and discussion. A storysack includes a book and visual aids that are linked to the story (or the subject if the book is non fiction), it can also include relevant worksheets, activities and games. Storysacks are lots of fun to make and are a great addition to a school library or classroom. I have made storysacks with parents during family learning workshops and it’s always fun to look at the ‘props’ and guess which books parents had chosen. As a result of the workshops several parents have been inspired to make storysacks for their children’s classrooms.
You can buy storysacks, Storysack, Twinkl and Child’s Play have sacks and resources to choose from, or you can make your own using an old pillowcase (if you are good at sewing you can make a bag relevant to a particular story). I use a pillowcase which asks ‘Which book will you find inside today?’ so it can be used for different books. The child takes an object out one at a time and tries to guess which book is in the sack.
I made a Goldilocks and the Three Bears storysack for my daughter using Goldilocks – A Pop Up Book by John O’Leary. It includes Goldilocks, three bears, three bowls and three chairs of varying sizes and a bag of oats. I didn’t include the beds so that as an extension activity she could find and / or make her own beds whilst discussing the concept of big, medium, small and biggest, middle sized and smallest. The oats stimulated a discussion about how to make porridge, we looked at a recipe to see which other ingredients are needed. A porridge making session has been planned!
Other books that I have used to make storysacks include;
- Dear Zoo: Toy animals and Dear Zoo colouring sheets. This is a great one for very little children.
- Jasper’s Beanstalk: Cuddly cat, a bean to plant, different types of beans, garden tools, watering can, snail and days of the week word cards.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar: A cuddly caterpillar, a beautiful butterfly, real fruit, toy fruit or pictures of fruit, a picture of the lifecycle of a caterpillar and days of the week word cards. More Hungry Caterpillar resources can be found on our Pinterest board.
- Room on the Broom: A broomstick, a witch’s hat, toy animals, a dragon, a cauldron and a Room on the Broom puppet making activity. More Room on the Broom resources can be found on our Pinterest board.
Storysacks are great to use in the classroom. It’s fun to see children, either as individuals or as part of a group, trying to guess which book is inside. They’re also a fun activity for a school holiday or a rainy day, if you make one up beforehand you can bring it out when children are complaining about being bored.
Thank you to author / illustrator John O’Leary for sending us a review copy of Goldilocks – The Pop Up Book which incorporates learning colours into the Goldilocks story. This colourful retelling of a traditional story is perfect for a storysack.
We would love to see or hear about any storysacks you have made. Please leave any links to your storysack posts in the comments.