Friday, 6 September 2013

Bookaholics Story Sack DIY Guide & Giveaway!

It’s September and so it’s back to school for all the children, teachers, teaching assistances and back to routine for parents, grandparents and other child careers. So here at Space on the Bookshelf we thought we’d celebrate by breaking our routine and instead of doing a 3D review this month that we’d treat you to a going back to school special feature on story sacks! So we’re going to look at what story sack are, give you a DIY guide to making them and if that's not enough we’re giving away a story sack we've made just for you!

What’s a story sack? 

Story sacks are another way of getting children excited about reading. A story sack is a bag and inside there is a good quality fiction book (usually a picture book) and a non-fiction book which is related. There are also soft toys a game and sometimes an activity sheet. All the contents of the sack relates to the story in the fiction book, and are designed to explore the story in other ways, and to ignite the childs imagination.

Tips to make best use out of your story sacks...

Teaching assistance and story sack creator Janice Markey (whose been making story sacks for ten years) shares some tips for making story sacks and how to use them best to excite children about reading.

  • Don’t forget the toys -There MUST be a soft toy and a game in the sack!
  • Fewer are better - We keep four to five story sacks in the class room at any one time allowing the children to borrow them on a rota system. A child can take them home for a week and read them together with their families. The rota system means they look forward to their turn the children often ask when their turn is to take home a story sack
  • Keep them Fresh- I’m always keeping them fresh and making news ones and keeping up with trends. I did an Olympic one and a queen’s jubilee one last year. If they get tired I take them out of circulation and remake them. Keeping them fresh means they are always exciting for the children. 
  • Scrounge – Story sacks cost to compile, so scrounge funds wherever you can!

DIY - making the giveaway story sack!

Picking the story book…

We thought long and hard about what story book to put in the story sack, because this is the key, getting the
right story which will dictate what else going into the sack. We wanted to put in a story which share the ethos of story sack, so we choose ‘ The Little White Owl’ by Tracey Corderoy and Jane Chapman. The Little White Owl is a charming story which is beautifully illustrated about a lonely little white owl with got a big imagination, which he uses to win the friendship of the more colourful owls.

The Non-Fiction book…

So this was trickier; do we try to find a book about story telling of owls. Owl won (because they’re owls and who doesn’t like owls!) Soto accompany ‘The Little White Owl’ book we have a lovely illustrated factual picture book called ‘I Love Owls’ which has pages about different species of owls. This got the thumb up from my seven year old!

Soft Toys…

Just feast your eyes on these beauties! As I couldn't find any soft toy owls colourful of otherwise, I commissioned these lovely little fellas to be crocheted especially. We have Little White Owl, and some of his colourful friends!


As this story sack is all about storytelling we have managed to find a story game. Three story telling wheels, where you spin the arrow to give you a places and characters in which you them make up a story about. You can use them individually or as a group to make up to make up stories.

Activity Sheet…

I’ve made a special activity sheet which to help children use their imagination, by asking them what colour owl they would be and to colour the owl in. Then what stories they would tell other owls, and to draw these stories, which can be completely from their own imaginations or helped along with the story wheels!

So there we are one completed and very colourful story sack! 

If you would like to win this Little White Owl Story Sack for you or for your school please email and tell us your name and address what colour owl you would be!

The Giveaway is open until the Monday 30th September to please share, tweet and facebook about this, because we'd love this to go to an good home.

Good Luck!


  1. These look great, what a lovely idea!

  2. Hi Lorraine! Yes they are fan aren't they! They started using them in Oxfordshire in the mid 1980's, so sadly a bit after my time! However you can buy professional ones, from educational suppliers but they are REALLY expensive, and it's much more fun to make them up yourselves!

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