Continuing our features on Story Sacks, we bring you a space themed Story Sack inspired by Grandpa was an Astronaut by Jonathan Meres and Hannah Coulson. From the moment I opened up the padded envelope (with the tell-tale Barrington Stoke squirrel on the front), and laid my eyes on the vibrantly illustrated front cover of Grandpa was an Astronaut I wanted to not only review it but make it the central component for a Story Sack.
The story it’s self is beautifully simple, exploring the tender and joyful relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Where two generations of the same family bond through play and make-believe, utilising every child’s favourite toy, a cardboard box. In a cardboard-box-rocket, Sherman and Grandpa, a former astronaut, go on an expedition to the moon. The story is told in a way that will engage young readers and bring a wave of nostalgia to adults. The story is further brought to life by the wonderfully colourful and energetic illustrations by Hannah Coulson. All in all, it’s is an ideal story to be shared by the whole family at story time.
With the story being so captivating, and being to the back drop of space I went about creating a Story Sack around it. As you may know, Story Sacks are designed to get 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 relate to the story in the fiction book, and are designed to explore the story in other ways, and to ignite the child’s imagination.
So when putting together story sacks I firstly look for the soft toys, for the Grandpa was an Astronaut Story Sack, I opted for finger puppets for Sherman, Grandpa and Mum (which are inexpensive and readily available on online), and a small dog figurine to represent Luna, Sherman’s pet.
Once the soft toys were in the bag (literally), I looked for a game, and found a lovely Rocket Game by Orchard Toys, and paired this with the fully illustrated Biggest and Best Universe Guide to be the non-fiction and educational elements of the sack.
To further enhance the imaginative play, there is a crocheted moon, and a paper box rocket.
The completed Story Sack is colourful and fun looking, and should be enticing for children, furthermore, it was inexpensive as both the game and non-fiction books were sourced second-hand, and the puppets cost less than £1.50, making the whole thing cost less that £10.00, proving that Story Sacks can also be complied on a budget!
Thank you for stopping by and please drop by again!