Touching hearts with story baskets.

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

Ben was missing his Grandad

He was meant to visit him last July but he couldn’t due to COVID and it didn’t look like he would be able to very soon (we live in New Zealand). Ben often had trouble understanding why he could not go as here in New Zealand we are able to shop and gather together with no restrictions.

Ben talked about his Grandad often and where he lived in London. He talked of the places he visited, Big Ben, with "capital B’s", Trafalgar square, tower bridge and the London eye. But BIG BEN was their favourite, We all knew why, but we always asked ‘why’ and Ben would beam and say because it was the same name that he and his Grandad had, Ben.

Ben talked to Grandad often and it was clear that this was a special relationship. Other children had always shown an interest in Ben’s stories of London and Ben was a great story teller.

I had found a book called Katie in London by James Mayhew which featured a Grandma and two children seeing the sights in London thanks to the Landseer's lion in Trafalgar square. The characters were different to Ben’s family, with a Grandma and the siblings ages reversed but I thought a story basket for the book could support him and others to see what he talked about.

I found some party supplies with a red bus and a flag bunting. I added to this wooden people for Grandma, Katie and Jack and the lion was a soft toy. I added a red box and then searched for some images of the iconic buildings. I put the images in the red box.

The delight on Ben’s face when he opened the box with the iconic buildings was priceless. He beamed. “Can I show my friends?”, he asked.

Of course. I followed and listened to the memories he shared and the amazing detail about the landmarks and his Grandad. Other children shared about where they had been with their Grandad. Ben wanted to take the box and images home and I agreed.

The next day he returned the box and came with a BIG BEN that he had bought with his Grandad and said it usually stayed on a table next to his bed and light. He wanted to add it to the story basket. I explained that in doing so he had to understand that others may touch it etc. He was OK about this.

It was interesting to see that the other children were interested in Ben’s BIG BEN but did not need to touch or hold it. Was this because they knew it was precious? Had the stories Ben had shared influenced this awe and respect.

BIG BEN remained in the story basket but the conversations and play extended to the block area where the children decided to build London.

The book and images were used as a guide for the buildings. The bunting was used to ‘line the roads’ and the buses drove along them. Ben’s Dad came in to pick him up and he was touched to hear and see the play. He smiled but was at a loss for words.

Not every story basket I make is quite this magical with touching the HEART. BUT every one has had a magical aspects be it the learning, conversations and relationships they invite and support.

Until the next magical story basket moment.


P.S. if you want to JOIN storybasketeers JOIN the waitlist here-

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