Handa’s Surprise Storytelling Game

Handa’s Surprise Picture book £6.99, big book £19.99

For this story we decorated a plastic by covering it with strips of paper to represent Handa’s basket. The we used sponge fruit shapes to create picture of the different fruits. We took it in turns to be Handa carrying the bowl and the rest of the group took fruit from the bowl and in the end putting the tangerines in.

Storytelling Game

Also in the session we played a game Continue reading

Owl Babies Finger Puppets

Owl Babies is fast becoming a firm favourite with me. There are so many things you can discuss from the story. Such as how we try and sound brave when we are scared, feelings about being lost and about how we love our mums. I have told this story often in the run up to Mother’s Day.

For this story we created finger puppets.

Here is a template for the puppets.

We then decorated them with feathers and retold the story using the back of chairs for branches. It would have been fantastic to do this story outside with an old branch. Unfortunately the weather was pretty awful on the day we did this.

Get the children to go through the sequence of the story this is where story talk cards come in handy. Retelling the story really gets the children into the repeated rhythms of the book. The finger puppets help those reluctant to speak or those with EAL to join in.

This story is often one I use when teaching early years practitioners how to use Big Books and Puppets with Children with EAL.

Hope if becomes a favourite with you to.

Owl Babies Story Talk Cards £10

Owl Babies Wooden Characters £18.00

Owl Babies Picture Book £6.99, Big Book £19.99

Three Billy Goats Story Sequencing

Three Billy Goats

For this story we reused our story box from Farmer Duck but this time our veg carton instead of being a bed was a bridge. I just added a piece of blue felt for the water. We made the goats using the template I used before when doing Three Billy Goats, which you can download and wrap around a cardboard tube. Continue reading

Farmer Duck Retelling the Story

Farmer Duck

I started the session with my reception group by telling the story. We then created our farm animals ready to retell the story using a story box.

The templates for the characters are below or alternatively you could use these great wooden characters.

I had created the box from a cardboard box I had, I cut off the flaps and one of the side panels. I then painted the remaining sides light blue and covered the base in green felt. I then cut out some hills and sun in paper and some strips of white paper for a picket fence.

We then created the farmer’s bed from a vegetable container. I snapped it at two corners and raised the side to make a headboard. We then covered it in pieces of felt.

The children then had a great time retelling the story using the box.

Template for Farmer Duck Characters

Cut out templates and fold in half to decorate.

These story talk cards are also a great way of getting children to put the sequence of the story together.


Farmer Duck Story Talk Cards £10.00

Farmer Duck Wooden Character Set £20.00






Stories from Around the World

I was on Facebook this evening and saw a post from a teacher asking where she could find stories from other countries and cultures. So I thought I would share with you a page from a handout from our Big Books and Puppets for Children with EAL & SEN workshop which gives sources of loads of folk tales from around the world. There are loads of folk tales out there, many we already know.

So here is my list:

●     First ask parents about stories they were told when they were children.
●    Classic Folk Tales 80 Traditional stories from Around the World Retold by Nicola Baxter Published by Armadillo ISBN 978-1-84322-855-4
●    147 Traditional Stories for Primary School Children to Retell by Chris Smith PhD ISBN 978-1-907359-39-2

The Enormous Turnip Literacy Lesson

20150429_101655Getting children involved and encouraging them to retell  or in early years helping you retell a story is a vital step towards them developing their own stories.

When a child holds a puppet they’ve made it belongs to them. We’ve had a fair few tears from children who have put down their puppets and then can’t find them, in our time. And it is this possession that encourages reluctant speaks to come out of their shells. Puppets help to develop children’s speaking and listening skills when they are used to retell a story. But puppets that they have made take this to another level. Continue reading

Goldilocks and The Three Bears

goldilocks-and-the-three-bears-puppetsOur traditional tale this week is Goldilocks and the three bears. I thought I would use puppets this week to get the children to retell the story. Puppets are my favourite way of getting children to interact with stories. It is wonderful the way a child will take on a character when they hold a puppet that they have made. And the fact that they have made it themselves makes them more attached to the character and what to be that character. Which helps their literacy as they can then see the story from their character’s perspective.  It also leads them to develop their own story about the character.

We used one of our cardboard theatres, to get the idea of an upstairs and downstairs I designed two scenes. I placed the downstairs on the aperture of the theatre and then placed the upstairs on the back panel.

Download the puppet templates here.

Download the scenery here.

Download scenery here.

The children loved retelling the story using the theatre.

To develop their story development further we then looked at ways we could change the story.

What if it wasn’t bears living in the house?

What animal could it be?

What else could they be having other than porridge?

What else could have made them go out for a walk?

What else could Goldilocks have done when she came face to face with the bears?

The children came up with some fascinating ideas. Most thought Goldilocks shouldn’t have been there in the first place and shouldn’t have run away and apologised.

Reusable cardboard puppet theatre, children will have fun decorate this puppet theatre £14.00

Reusable cardboard puppet theatre, children will have fun decorate this puppet theatre £14.00

Picture book, big book available from £5.00

Picture book, big book available from £5.00

Goldilocks and wooden characters from £10.00

Goldilocks and wooden characters from £10.00