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Encourage your child to tell stories

Make a story sack to help your child get more involved in stories and storytelling.

story sack bear hunt basket 1 (2)

What is a story sack?

A collection of items that you and your child can use to help you tell a story together.

Why make a story sack?

A story sack will help your child become more involved in the story. The more interested they are, the more they will enjoy books and stories. The story sack will encourage play, this will support your child’s communication and language skills, and improve their memory.


  1. Choose a story. It could be a favourite story, or a new one based on your child’s interests.
  2. Find a container. You could use a pillowcase, fabric bag, a cardboard box or basket.
  3. Gather a selection of objects. Things which will help tell the story, or that link to the story.
  4. You might want to include: a copy of the book, small models, soft toys or puppets to represent the characters, items to represent important objects or places in the story, activities or games linked to the story (maybe a forgotten jigsaw or matching game), a musical instrument or sound making object, a non-fiction book or rhyme linked to the story (you could visit the library).
  5. Use your imagination, there are no rules! (You can include 1 or 2 items, or lots, it’s up to you!)

Top tips:

  • You do not need to buy the items that fill your story sack. Children have amazing imaginations, so be creative, make and recycle. Visit the library to borrow books, or a charity shop for second hand ones.
  • Including natural objects will teach your child about the world around them. You could include leaves, stones, sticks or tree bark. Ziplock bags or tightly sealed bottles can contain messy/wet/scented items.
  • Include items for writing or drawing. A notebook, large piece of paper or strips of paper with some chalk, pens, or paint dabbers.
  • Fabric or large paper can help with the story setting. For example, use a piece of blue fabric (it could be a blue t-shirt) or paper to create a river or the sea.
  • Try making a story sack without a book. A collection of characters and objects will support you and your child to make up and tell your own story.
  • You could make the story sack as a gift for your child, or you could make it together.