Thursday, 31 March 2016

Brown Bear, Brown Bear story box

I love making and using story boxes.  They are really simple to make and a great opportunity to get everyone involved in putting one together.  This one is based on one of my favourite stories, Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  

Shoe boxes are the perfect size for this make.  I popped on over to the Sparklebox size to see what characters they might have that I could use and found all the ones used for this make including the printout for the top of the box as shown below.

My lovely friend helped to complete this one.  She added some blue, white and yellow paper to make the sky scene.  Again Sparklebox was used for the small world play scenery along the inside of the box.  A small amount of artificial grass was placed at the bottom of the box. 

A printout of a brown bear mask was laminated and a lollipop stick added to encourage role play.

The following characters which were found on Sparklebox from the story were printed out and laminated and made into a matching game which has been added to the box.  A home made dice has also been made using pictures of the characters to encourage children to not only match the animals but to tell the story in their own way using the matching characters.

Some knitted characters have also been added to give the box another dimension and encourage role play, imaginative and creative play as well as developing early language skills through play.

Story boxes can be made for any favourite story book that your child loves.

Home made baby buggy book

Here is a simple idea for a home made textured baby buggy book that can be used time and time again.  

Items I used:
  • Funky foam sheets (otherwise known as neoprene)
  • Scissors 
  • Various pieces of textured fabric
  • Glue gun
  • The top of a pringles crisp tube or similar
  • Ribbon
  • Hole punch
Cut out the shapes for the pages that you require.  As you can see I have used a simple flower shape for this book.

Cut out circles from the various textured fabric pieces for the middle of the flower pages and glue down in the centre of each page.

Make a hole using the hole punch in each of the pages and thread the ribbon through.

Choose the fabric of your choice for the centre of the pringles lid and glue securely before gluing the lid to the centre of the top page of the book.

And there you have it!  An easy and cheap to make book.

Home made CD pocket book

This simple idea came from my husband who works in IT.  I was looking for some new ways of making books when he came up with this idea.  'What about using these he said' ? CD pockets.  

What a fab, simple idea! Especially when you can buy a box of 50 of them for a £1.  I threaded a few of them together using ribbon and then popped some printed laminated cards in to the pockets.  

Here I have used simple colour recognition picture cards.  You could use anything at all including magazine pictures stuck on cardboard of animals, transport, mini beasts, flowers, even photographs of family members.  The really good thing about this book is that you only have to change the contents and not the book.   The opportunities are endless!

Jungle animal picture book

I am always looking for some easy ideas for some home made books to share with the families I work with.  Here is a simple idea for a jungle animal book.  I found the pictures used on the Sparklebox site

I then printed them off laminated them and added two shower curtain hooks to hold it together.

You can also make a similar version using magazine pictures etc.

Home made glove puppet for singing rhymes

Here is a great idea for an easy home made glove puppet that you will make time and time again. Glove puppets in the shops can be pretty expensive and usually only consist of one rhyme only.

I'm about to show you how to make a glove puppet for five different rhymes using just one glove!

You will need:

  • An exfoliating glove (usually purchased for the bathroom to shower with)
  • Sticky velcro - tooth side not smooth
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Printer
  • Laminator and pouches
The gloves comes in a pair when purchased so you and a friend can make one each to use with your children and are relatively inexpensive.  I purchased these ones for under a pound.

By the time we have finished you will have props to use wit your glove for the following songs:

  1. Five little ducks went swimming one day
  2. Five little speckled frogs
  3. Five cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed
  4. Five green bottles standing on the wall
  5. Five little men in a flying saucer
The glove:

I looked for appropriate images on the web. Saved, printed, laminated and cut them out before gluing on the velcro (toothy side out, not smooth), and then added to the glove.

The good thing about this glove is that when you are counting down in the song, you can stick the small pieces to the opposite side to keep them safe.

Modelled by my son : )

Five little speckled frogs:

Five little men in a flying saucer:

 5 cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed:

5 green bottles standing on the wall: 

The opportunities are endless: 5 currant buns in a bakers shop, 5 fat sausages, 5 in the bed, are there any others that you can think of?

Home made sock puppets

I have a washing machine that manages to produce only one sock out of a pair each time I do the laundry.  So what do you do with those odd socks that mount up?

Make sock puppets for story telling and using for singing songs and rhymes as well as creative and imaginative play.

For these ones i used:

  • Odd socks (these particular socks are fluffy so great for texture, colour and pattern)
  • Odd bits of felt (used for the ears, eyes and tongue)
  • Pieces of left over ribbon from various projects used for the hair
  • Needle and threads
You can get the children involved to make these.  You don't have to sew them.  Use some fabric glue instead.  The opportunities are endless!

Nursery rhyme play dough mats

As you know I love making the home made play dough to use with the families I work with.  You can find the recipe in a previous post or search in the bar below.  There are lots of fantastic printable play dough mats on the Sparklebox site:

In particular I really like these nursery rhyme ones that are interactive for little ones having to make a variety of different items for each one.

5 little men in a flying saucer

This has to be one of my favourite songs ever due to the fact that it was one of the favourites of my youngest child.  I have great memories of fun times bringing it alive using different props that we would make.

Here is a simple and quick prop pack that I have made and used with the families I work with time and time again.

You will need:

  • Printer
  • Laminator and lamiating pouches
  • Scissors
I printed off the space background and the picture of the 5 little men in the flying saucer from Sparklebox, which is an early years site with some great printables.

I used the image of the alien from the Toy Story films due to the fact that its an image that most of the children recognise for the rhyme.

I then made up a rhyme card to add to the pack for the families to use as not everyone has heard of the rhyme.

5 little men in a flying saucer

Five little men in a flying saucer
Flew round the earth one day
They looked left and right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away.

Four little men in a flying saucer
Flew round the earth one day
They looked left and right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away.

Three little men in a flying saucer
Flew round the earth one day
They looked left and right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away.

Two little men in a flying saucer
Flew round the earth one day
They looked left and right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away.

One little men in a flying saucer
Flew round the earth one day
They looked left and right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Home made story sacks

A story sack is a large cloth bag containing a favourite children's book with supporting materials to stimulate language activities and make reading a memorable and enjoyable experience.  The supporting materials help to bring the story alive.

For more information see:

 • Motivate and excite children about reading
 • Encourage active participation in reading
 • Encourage a desire to share books together, read aloud and listen to stories
 • Give parents and care givers confidence to share stories
 • Give parents and care givers an easy and enjoyable way to engage children in literacy
 • Provide FUN and enjoyment

I love using story sacks with the families and giving them ideas on how they can put one together really easily and cost effectively.  

Here's one I made a long time ago now and it has been mentioned here before.  This one is based on the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar', one of my all time favourite books.  I wanted to make one that was quite tactile for the children.  However remember you don't have to be able to sew to make items to pit into a home made story sack!

Here are some ideas from some fabulous sites....