A Story Bag is a collection of objects and activities which centre around a fictional children’s story. They are used to encourage children to explore the story and enjoy the reading experience, often before they can read themselves.

This idea has become heavily commercialised in recent years, with toys and props for well-known children’s stories generating far more income than sales of the books themselves. However, story bags can be done on a budget!

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Little Red Riding Hood

The beauty of story bags is that they can be individually tailored to the age, needs, or interests of a child or group of children. Here are some ideas for things to include. Most educators recommend including a maximum of 7 items so as not to overload the bag or overwhelm the child.

-Fiction story book

-Soft toy

-Non-fiction book

-Fine motor skills/mark-making activity

-Gross motor skills activity

-Cooking or craft suggestion

-Dressing-up items

-Puppet or finger puppets

-Images

-Artefacts or objects

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The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Sourcing items on a budget:

-Charity shops

-NCT Nearly New Sales

-Pound shops

-An old pillowcase for the bag itself

-Craft/cooking ideas from the internet

-Natural artefacts; sand, shells, pinecones, pebbles, flowers, leaves…

-Household objects- old keys, kitchen utensils, baby clothes… anything related to the story.

Story bags do require some planning and creativity; especially if you’re on a budget, but brilliant inspiration is easy to come by online, and some websites have free printables, too. They make lovely birthday gifts for toddlers, who love repetition; listening to favourite stories again and again.

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Pee Wee The Lonely Kiwi

Little has just received this book and matching Kiwi toy as a gift. What would you add to this collection to put together a story bag?

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