Monday, 7 November 2016

Poo at the Zoo by Steve Smallman and Ada Grey - Story Sacks – DIY - Poo Bags

Getting children engaged in stories from an early age can be the cornerstone to them developing a love for reading. There are many ways to accomplish this but one of the most fun ways, which is adopted by schools and pre-school and can also be easily adapted for the home, is to use Story Sacks, (press here to read our last Story Sack DIY guide).

Over the next few post, we at space on the bookshelf will be exploring the concept of story sacks; looking at how to create them, how to put-together story sacks for older readers like Middle Grade and Young Adults, and looking at creating Story Sacks on a frugal budget. But to start off our Story Sack features, we shall begin with; Poo Bags. It is pretty universally acknowledged that children find poo funny, so why not use their amusement to both engage them in stories, and slipping in a bit of education on the way?

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 child’s 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 over 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!

Poo Bag #1 Poo in the Zoo by Steve Smallman and Ada Grey

Poo in Zoo is a funny and vibrantly coloured picture book following the adventures of Little Bob McGrew the keeper at the zoo, whose job mainly consists of shovelling up – you’ve guest it - poo! The illustrations of the differing type of poo from varying creatures are amusing, and you feel a little sorry for Bob McGrew, but it’s when the naughty Iguana starts greedily guzzling everything he can find, and then deposits it in a glowing smelly plop, which is when the keepers job becomes really horrible.

Poor Bob doesn’t know what to do with glowing poo, but it soon becomes the main attraction, with people flocking to see it, so much so that Hector Gloop for his Amazing Poo Museum, meaning that Bob can buy an automatic Poo picker-up-er!

I chose this book for the basis of the Story Sack not only because it is funny and beautifully illustrated, but because when I was a teenager I had a pet – you’ve guest it – iguana! And indeed iguanas do have the smelliest most horrendous poo, on account that they only do a move every few months! My iguana’s poo was so bad that it will smell out the whole house, for days even after it had been cleared up!

My very Smelly Iguana  - Iggy.

The Other aspect of the book that I thought was quite topical was the Poo Museum, as earlier this year an actual Poo Museum; The National Poo Museum, opened up on the Sandown Zoo on the Isle of White.

Of course a Story scam need to be educational as well as funny, so I’ve paired Poo at the Zoo up with the factual ‘Animal Sciences; Poo a Natural History of the Unmentionable’ which is an interesting picture filled book full of interesting poo facts.

To make the Story Sack educational and fun, there are an array of soft Zoo Animals, plus a hand-puppet Little Bob-McGrew Zoo Keeper and of course a cuddly iguana, a pretend poo, and lastly a game of Plop Trumps!

This Story Sack should cause lots of fun and laughter, and maybe even slip a bit of education in without children even noticing! But if maybe Iguana’s aren’t your thing, then you could always try one utilising the classic ‘The Mole who knew it was None of His Business!’

Poo Bag #2 The Mole who knew it was None of His Business - Werner Holzwarth & Wolf Erlbuch

I hope you've enjoyed this Story Sack post, and please come back and visit for more Story Sack inspiration!

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