A while ago we shared our Jack & the Beanstalk Story Basket, since then we've created several more to explore. These Story Baskets are a neat way to investigate familiar (& new) stories using a selection of props. They're great for encouraging recall skills, sequencing, language, storytelling, creativity, imagination, & so much more.
Here are a few story baskets we've created recently with props from around our house
The Three Little Pigs Story Basket
3 toy pigs
Straw & raffia
Toy dog - wolf
The Little Red Hen Story Basket
Small toy Hen, Rat, Cat, & Dog
Small toy spade
A few shafts of wheat
Bowl & spoon - to make the bread
Loaf of bread (we used a plastic toy loaf, but you could use a real bread roll)
Owl Babies Story Basket
3 toy or puppet Owls (here are our owl stick puppets & peg puppets)
A small tree branch or cardboard tube
The Gingerbread Man Story Basket
Wooden figure - Gingerbread man
Small metal frying pan
Fox glove puppet
Blue cloth - to represent the river
(Optional: add small world figures to represent the characters the Gingerbread Man meets along the way)
I was thinking of a way to display these baskets & remembered how much fun Minnie had had outside with them. I think there's something special about sharing stories in a natural environment, & these baskets are ideal to hook on your arm (or bike) to take somewhere & explore!
So how to display them? Well how about a Story Tree! Simply hang the Story baskets over the lower branches of a tree (so they're easily within reach) & wait for them to be discovered. We picked up this selection of baskets from a number charity stores.
The baskets could be used to tell different stories, or each contain similar props, so a number of children could explore the same story in their own way at the same time. The magical thing about these baskets is that children can freely explore a familiar story, adapt or extend it, or create their own narratives as they play with the props.
I love the idea of using this natural living object as a way of displaying stories for children to pick & discover.
When creating Story Baskets it's of course important to think of the age range of the children, & which props would be appropriate / safe to use. For example if I were creating a story basket for babies I would use larger items which offered a selection of textures, colours, & sounds etc.
These Story Baskets have been a big hit in our house, & sparked much imaginative play & storytelling, with the basket itself featuring in many of the tales! We're looking forward to making many more of these so we can step inside even more of our favourite stories.