Updated: Jan 20
It is hard to believe it has been 3 years since I started making story baskets (I did make them 20 years ago but returned to them) and had a viral post for them.
There were 3 mistakes that I made and I am sharing them so you can avoid them!
#1 I made story baskets for the stories I loved!
When I first started, I reached for the books I loved and had ‘BIG’ ideas for what to put in the story basket. The ones I was requested to read 100 times a day did not interest me BUT I soon learnt it wasn’t about ME! I had forgot the key to selecting a book and that was to notice what the children were taking an interest in and build on that. YES with 20 plus years experience I made this mistake!
Children were interested in the story basket but more as a novelty. They did not engage in them I had anticipated (this also had to do with rookie mistake #2). What I did notice was that the children were interested in the animals and used them to talk to each other and the bear was called the ‘cranky bear’ and that is when it dawned on me that the children were interested in this book and not Goldilocks and the three bears (the story basket i had made).
The next day I came with a story basket with the bear they named the ‘cranky bear’ in it. It had only 5 items and they were items that the cranky bears friends used to cheer him up.
I wish I had a photo of my first story basket so you could see it, as it also contained my next rookie mistake as it had WAY TOO much in it!
#2 I put too much in them.
In my first story baskets I tried to put EVERY element of the story in the story basket. All the characters, all the places they went and the objects in the book. I even made one that was so big it ended up in a box! I do have a photo of that one. Whatever next was surprisingly better than Goldilocks but what I discovered is that the children only needed a few items and let their imaginations do the rest.
I also thought about the story from different characters perspectives or point of view and tried leaving one out that was the narrator or the one re-telling the story. This worked well as they child or children became that character in the book and in the hands on play. If they wanted to be that character and have it in their hands they would either get it for themselves or i would add it the next day (which leads to my third mistake).
You can see that there is no child in whatever next so that the story teller could be the child. I have also done this on other occasions with the owl or bear missing and a doll child in the story basket.
#3 I thought I needed a new one every day
The final mistake was that I thought once the children had had the story basket that I needed to create another BUT in the same way children love the same book over and over I discovered that the children loved the same story basket out for a week or more sometimes. It was a matter of observing and either introducing a new one when the interest waned or offering a new one with the other story basket still available.
From all of these 3 mistakes has also grown a new way that story baskets can be created and that is by the children. I now offer a couple of baskets with a cloth or two in it for them to make their own story basket. This is a new thing and I will keep you posted on how this goes.
Want to learn more and AVOID any other mistakes then my story basket mini-course may be for you!
Until next time.
(AffLINKs are included in this post)