One of the most important gifts a child can receive is a love of stories and reading. Young children often find it easier to relate to stories and concepts if they have something in front of them helping them to understand what is being discussed or told. This is one reason why picture books and books with plenty of simple illustrations are so popular with this age group.
Storysacks are about making books fun and bringing stories to life. A storysack is a large cloth bag containing a well-known children’s picture story book together with supporting materials to stimulate reading activities and make shared reading a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Each sack contains soft toys of the main characters in the story book, props and scenery. It might also include a non-fiction book on the same theme, an audio-tape of the story, a language-based game and a short activity card containing questions to ask, words to consider and other ways you may extend the reading activity by developing listening, reading and writing skills.
The aim of a Storysack is to give parents/carers the confidence to enjoy books and reading together with their child. Not everyone finds it easy to read stories but with the supporting materials contained in the Storysack they can successfully share books with their children taking the discussion beyond simply telling a story.
- Talking about the story and their favourite bits.
- Asking questions about the characters and the plot.
- Re-telling the story using the models.
- Finding out more about the people and places in the story.
- Drawing or making a model of one of the characters in the book.
Storysacks can be adapted to take into account the needs and abilities of the children and parents/carers using them.