Making Storysacks

CHOOSING BOOKS

•Look for classic titles, prize winners eg Smarties Prize, dinosaurs, space, princesses, monsters/aliens are all extremely popular.

  • Check internet for a good price
  • Collect books at school fairs, car boot sales , charity shops etc
  • Non-fiction books: check it is suitable for the age group

 SOME BASIC MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:

  • Fabric to make cloth sacks. Not pale colours, medium weight. Yacht hook, cord
  • A4 paper
  • Clear sticky back plastic
  • Storysacks Library stamp, with school address on it too.
  • Laminator, laminating pouches A4
  • File cards
  • Small and large white stickers

DESIGN BRIEF

  • The story and non fiction book and game must be suitable for the age group.
  • Carefully read the story, picking out the most important themes and characters. Decide which characters need to be in the storysack, whether there needs to be scenery, props or dressing up clothes, what kind of game is suitable, are if there any other activities which would enhance understanding (eg. measuring, recipes) and what kind of non fiction /information book would be suitable.
  • The storysack and it’s game should not have too many items, they will be lost more easily and it takes ages counting it all!
  • Don’t make the storysack big, heavy or bulky. It needs to be carried to and from school.

STORY CHARACTERS (also PROPS, DRESSING UP CLOTHES)

  • These could be lollystick puppets, handpuppets, soft toys.
  • They can be sourced from charity shops, school fairs, car boot sales, Ebay, Amazon.
  • Some characters may need to be made specially by adapting dolls, knitting (surprisingly durable) or sewing puppets or dolls.
  • Lollystick puppets can be made by scanning characters from the book or drawing them, and laminating them before applying the lolly stick.
  • Dressing up clothes and props can be sourced in the same way.
  • Make sure the story characters/toys, props etc are safe and robust enough for years of use by young children and families – people will not be careful with them!

GAMES

  • They should be suitable for the age group.
  • Can be found second hand but may not be complete.
  • Lotto and snap type games are relatively easy to make, board games may take a bit more work.
  • Interesting games can be found online.
  • DO NOT choose games that need batteries.
  • Do not choose games with lots of pieces.
  • Choose games which are strong and the pieces can be copied and replicated when they get lost!

PARENT PROMPT

  • Read the story carefully and study the illustrations, before devising the questions.
  • Devise questions to help parents talk about the story with the child. These could be about words, general meaning, things you can see in the illustrations like historical detail or counting.
  • Suggest further activities, such as artwork, outings and investigations.

Adding Storysacks to the library

PHOTOGRAPH CONTENTS

  • Choose somewhere with good light (Infants staff room is good) make image as close up as possible.
  • For PHOTOBLURB use contrasting colour back ground fabric arrange items to look exciting and make sure everything is standing up etc. Don’t need to put in plastic folders, parent prompt
  • For PHOTO INVENTORY arrange in rows for easier checking, include plastic folders, Parent Prompt etc
  • Once downloaded decide on trimming the photo and making any artwork adjustments.

MAKE PHOTOBLURB

  • Use a recent PHOTOBLURB document as a template or: Make a ‘document’ with the Storysack’s title at the top, insert photo of the Storysack contents, then write a short piece about the story ‘the blurb’ on the back of the book is useful for this or find reviews online. Print out. Stamp the back with STORYSACKS STAMP.
  • Laminate PHOTOBLURB.

MAKE PHOTO INVENTORY

  • Use a recent PHOTO INVENTORY as a template or: make new ‘document’; insert photo; write directly underneath ‘Not suitable for children under 36 months’. Drop down 3 lines and write Storysack Contents, underneath write story title’ – storybook,
  • under that non-fictionbook title’ – non-fictionbook, under that write the character toys, dressing up, etc, underneath write GAME and write contents of the game in brackets. etc,
  • Next write Myatt Garden Primary school, address , tel number etc. Lastly write (in different colour) ‘This Storysack was made by Myatt Garden parents (or purchased by PTA …etc) in 2013 (insert correct year).
  • Print out. Fold PHOTOINVENTORY in half, trim sides leaving 1cm above the photo/text,
  • Laminate. Then use a hole punch to make holes in the top.
  • Sew into the side seam inside of the Storysack using holes.

MAKE INVENTORY PAGE

  • Use a recent INVENTORY PAGE as a template; or make a new document; write Storysack title across the top with the month and year; line underneath; Storysack book title – ISBN number – publisher; next line Non fiction book title – ISBN number – publisher; line; Storysack contents listed , quantity etc; line; Game contents listed; line; parent prompt, guide for parents.
  • Print out INVENTORY PAGE. Slide into a plastic page pocket, put into the INVENTORY FILE in the correct place.

CARD FILE

  • Write out new card file for the new storysack and put it the CARD FILE BOX

BOOKS

  • Stamp the books with the MYATT GARDEN STORYS STAMP inside the front and back covers.
  • Inside cover or title page of the NON-FICTION BOOK write in large capital letters the title of the Storysack it comes from and underline.
  • Cover the books in clear sticky back plastic

GAMES

  • Scan or photocopy contents. (These can be kept on file on computer or printed out and put in GAMES FILE)
  • Sticker, write or stamp “Storysacks Library” on each piece, box and instructions.
  • With marker pen write out the contents inside the box or on flap.