Storage has and always will be a tricky thing for teachers. Story baskets I hope may be a little different. I tend to only store resources I have made specifically for a story basket. The other resources are what I find in and around the early childhood setting. This may not solve storage issues but it certainly won’t mean you need to find more storage space.
But let’s start with the baskets. As you know from the last blog ‘How to create a story basket that will engage young minds’ I use a $4 basket/. I have 3 of them and they stack nicely together. Why do I have three, to be honest I really only need two but I tend to be prepared and have extra. In case one gets damaged or for a a rainy day. What I love about these baskets is that the top one can be full and ready to use and the others empty or have the material and book awaiting the other parts or resources. You put out the one on top and then start collecting what you need for the book in the next basket.
I gather the items needed and put them in during the day or when I have a chance. It really saves time and helps my creative juices to try and not buy or make any but use what is in the setting. Often there is just not enough time in the day or the energy to make something.
But sometimes a story really does need a resource made or bought. If I am making one as I did for shark in the park then I would store this is a see-through tie bag or a see-through zip bag. If you want to keep the book with it then you will need one big enough to fit it in. I started keeping the whole story basket in a bag but found that this meant the book and resources were then out of circulation for other play in the early childhood setting and so I started to just store the resources made specifically.
This cuts the need for storage down significantly. If you make a number of story spoons then you can keep these all in one bag and use an elastic band to keep them together. Trying to find one among many in a hurry it NOT fun. For my story disks and stones, I try and use a see-through bag as it is easier to see what is in it. I have bought some sets with cotton bags and so I make a label and attach it to help.
I store the baskets and bags on a shelf. If you do not have a shelf then a plastic bin with a lid is a good alternative. The lid keeps out dust and means other items can be stacked on top.
I have had story sacks in the past but found that they took up a lot of space. With a basket the toys, puppets / resources and books go back into circulation and do not take up new space but return to the storage space they came from. The only ‘new’ space you need is for 2 or 3 stacked baskets.
Lastly to help me to remember what story baskets I have done and what I used in them I take a photo of every one and save it in a file in two places (if I am being honest 3!). I store it on my computer, works and an external hard drive. This makes it easier to recreate a basket at a later date but also to recall what worked and what didn’t. I also use the photos to think about what resources may need to be bought in the future. This is a ‘work smart not hard’ strategy and also supports my goal to be intentional in my teaching. Finally, these photos are also excellent for my teacher registration as they can be used as evidence or at a later date jog my memory to write a teaching story or learning story.
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Until next time.