Thursday, 21 March 2013

Story Sacks: Class Two at the Zoo

Just before Christmas, I had an email from a librarian working in Barnsley Children's Centre. She told me she was planning a course for local parents, teaching them how to create story sacks. She wanted my permission to use one of her favourite books, Class Two at the Zoo, to base the course around. How lovely! 

For those who don't know, a story sack is a bag you fill with all sorts of little props and ideas, relating to a favourite book, to help you to add value to storytime with your child. The bag might include a simple puppet to help you read the story, or activities that pick up immediately after finishing the book, like games or songs with a related theme, or props to help you retell the story together. It's basically the same kind of thing I use when I am doing a storytelling with a school group.

I have come across libraries that make story sacks and lend them out with the books, but Jane in Barnsely wanted to empower parents to create their own - a great idea and good fun I should think. 

The parents made sock puppets, bingo games, snap cards, laminated puppet masks and games of snakes and ladders. They also made copies of my illustrations, which they cut out and coloured in, re-creating background settings from the book with Velcro-on characters, to animate the story with their children. 

All the parents ended up with a lovely story sack to take home and share with their child, as well as a certificate to say they had completed the course. Fantastic stuff. 

If you have young children or grand children, why don't you have a go at creating a story sack? As long as you are not selling what you create, you are free to use any of the illustrations or ready-made activitiescolouring sheets, step-by-step drawings you find on my website, either to creare props to add to one of my books, or someone elses. 


Julie Fulton said...

These are great - and it must be so nice to see your story 'made' into a sack. I gave an author visit to a school recently, where they asked me to judge a Story Box competition whilst I was there. Same idea, just all held in a decorated shoe box! Parents and children had been hard at work, which made it incredibly difficult to choose the winners!

Cathy Holtom said...

What a great idea, a story bag would be really useful for teaching English to small chldren too (something I often do here in Italy!)

Damian Harvey said...

Lynne, this is great isn't it... I love it.

I was in Prestatyn Library on Tuesday and there is a big picture of one of your warthogs on the wall following your visit (a couple of years ago I think)...

Lynne the Pencil said...

Ha ha - I have left warthogs all over the country and it is lovely when I revisit and see how they are cherished.

I hope it was a good one: every so often I do a rather wonky one, but it still goes on the wall and makes me cringe when I go again!

Inge Leonora-den Ouden said...

Great idea, a 'story bag'!
Thanks, Inge Leonora-den Ouden.