Updated: May 26
How much does it cost to make a story basket?
Do you need a lot of space to store all the 'stuff'' for story baskets?
I am so BUSY does it take much time to make a story basket?
I am asked these questions frequently and discovered that they can often be a barrier to making and sharing story baskets.
I wanted to share that bringing a book to life doesn’t need to be expensive, need much space or be time consuming. The best way to do this was by coming up with what I am calling my story basket foundation box that will cost between $20-30 to put together.
I wanted to make making and sharing a story basket more accessible and easier and I have come up with a list of items that will fit in a document box that does just that!
I know how busy we all are and having a go-to box for the base of story baskets would save time, space and money. A perfect combination for teachers and parents alike! I have created a FREE e-booklet that you can use to support your collecting and share examples to see how it can be used for different books.
A document box is compact and the basket I use ( a $4 kmart one. They call it a bread basket. The dimensions are 23cm by 18cm by 8cm. The height of the basket is key to fit in the document box) fits easily in there. I added 3 coloured cloths as they are like the canvas for a story basket. The most used colours are green, brown and blue: green for grass, blue for sea or sky and brown for earth. These could be sourced for FREE if you have them or ask family members. I now get mine from second hand shops. I also added material with texture as see-through scarf and black one with stars or dots to appear like stars or the night sky. You can add more colours and cultural material but 5 will be all you need for the base.
I added peg dolls that could be used as is or embellished and wood buddies. Which I will blog on the wood buddies next time. These items are the characters for a story basket, from people to animals or trees. [pictured is SAM-I-AM from the pattern for Green Eggs and Ham.
There are wooden spoons, wood disks, wooden house, tree, stones and craft sticks that can be used 'as is' or added to with paint, felt (material) and stamps or stickers. I love items used 'as is' as the children can use their imagination as they do with loose parts: a wooden spoon can be a tree or a fish. But I have also used them in patterns like this FREEbie for the 3 little pigs.
Texture is key to breathing life into a story basket and a story basket foundation needs to invite the eyes and hands. Raffia is fabulous as you can use it as it is, wrapped or unwrapped as wild and free texture! Pincones are hopefully FREE in your area and whenever it is windy, I am off to my pinecone picking spots to collect more! I use the miniature ones as the larger ones are harder to store and can be too big for a story basket.
In the story basket foundation box there is driftwood and branches, these are FREE and so versatile. You could add wood cookies and make then at the same time as your wood buddies with a belt sander and saw. Pompoms are also in the box as they are cheap and can be a bush, waves, leaves or…..
Wooden pegs are also in the box for fine motor opportunities, fences or construction with the craft sticks.
I have added farm animals to the story basket foundation box as they are connected to the context the children live in. You may want sea creatures or your countries animals as well as or instead. I have Kmart $10 wooden animals with the bonus of a tray which could be used as a barn, house or shed. If you have wooden animals in your early childhood setting then there is not cost.
Once you have the book that you want to make and share a story basket for you can use your foundation items and this may be enough for the story basket. The same base could be used for several story baskets and books. Here I have used the brown cloth and items for 2 books - (there are more in the e-booklet) adding a small basket for a nest in Owl Babies and a slight change for Stick Man.
Now you have the book and the foundation for a story basket what next? Some story baskets can just be made and shared with these items! In no time at all!!
Others may need a little more time and this is where I teach my step-by-step method on what you add that will engage children in play and learning. Over 100 teachers have learnt this method and continue to make story baskets. The method saves time and supports planning for any child or curriculum area. The best part is it only takes 7 days (up to 10 minutes a day) or 7 lessons. It is my 7 day challenge and now a mini-course where you learn my process BUT more importantly has you making and sharing YOUR own.
I strongly believe that it is the action in sharing a story basket that will excite you and children, this is where the magic happens. They are both priced reasonably at $15 as I want as many people making and sharing story baskets as possible! There is also the BONUS of being able to do the LIVE challenge every time it is offered (up to 3 times a year) which is a great motivator and support.
I hope you take the time to save time and collect the items needed for the foundation to a story basket and start making and sharing them. If I can HELP in any way let me know.
Until next time.
P.S. there are affliate links used in the blog
P.S.S. I am giving away a foundation box in my next LIVE 7 day challenge on the 3rd of July.