Story related Activities

We're going on a Bear Hunt

One of my favourite books to teach in year one was We're going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

It is now one of Hartley's favourite and he already knows all the actions and some of the words!

I decided to take Hartley and his friends on their very own bear hunt.

We're going on a bear hunt
We're going to catch a big one.
We're not scared

Uh-uh! Grass
 Uh-uh! A lake
Uh-uh Mud  
Uh-uh! A forest
Uh-uh! a snowstorm
 Uh-uh! A cave

Can't go over it, can't go under it. We have to go through it!

This was a really simple activity that just took a bit of organising
grass - play tunnel with paper grass but you could use cut up grass or shredded paper.
Forest - i used leaves and twigs but if you were lucky to have a woodland area that would be great or you could use tree stumps.
snow - flour and cotton wool balls but you could use snow or ice in winter, or gloop, or shaving foam anything really

We also made bears from paper plate. This was a really simple and fun activity.

We also made these bear foot prints. Another cute way of using children's footprints. I added the words from the story too.

Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Hartley loves stories and will often choose to look at a book but I recently found out he also really enjoys story telling.

The other day at our local Children's centre one of the ladies told the story of Goldilocks. She used no pictures and few props but yet Hartley and the other children were completely engaged the whole way through.

So this week I decided to focus on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I found a doll and three different sized bears and a bowl and spoon for each of them.

I also put out a big tub of porridge oats.

Hartley and his friend loved listening to the story and copied my actions as I showed how big the bears, bowls, beds were. They were so engaged, which is pretty amazing considering they are both around 14 months!

They then played with the bears, Goldilocks and of course the porridge.
They scooped, poured, whisked and stirred the porridge.

We then added water. This changed the mixture and made it more sticky. Hartley loved whisking and stirring the porridge. He was also able to pour in the water himself.

Story and Sensory Farm Fun

Hartley loves animals at the moment. We went to a farm a few weeks ago and he enjoyed looking at and touching all the animals. 

As it was World Book Day today I gave Hartley a new book all about the farm.

We shared the book together. Hartley pointed to the animals in turn and made sounds of some of the animals he knew. He does a good Moo!
 I then set up Hartley's farm set. I added some lentils for an extra sensory element.

Sensory Play  

Sensory Play is so important for babies and children. This is how they learn and explore the world around them. It also encourages children to be creative, improve their fine and gross motor skills, increase their vocabulary and begin to investigate, question and draw conclusions.

Hartley loved playing with the farm and I talked to him about the different animals.

Hartley liked exploring the lentils. He enjoyed scooping them, piling them and filling the trailer with them.

He then looked at the book again himself. I left the farm set up with this book and other farm related books so he can play whenever he wants.

Dear Zoo Story Sack

Even though Hartley is only 12 months I decided we should do something fun for World Book Day. He has always loved sharing books with me, his favourites are the ones with bits to touch and feel.
 Just recently he has started to enjoy proper story books and will sit with me for the whole story.

I have used story sacks a lot in schools but thought Hartley would really enjoy his very own story sack to bring the story to life.

What is a story sack?
A story sack is a large cloth bag containing a favourite children's
book with supporting materials to stimulate language activities and
make reading a memorable and enjoyable experience.

 You can include;
 soft toys or puppets 
items from the story
 audio tapes
games or puzzles related to the story
masks or dressing up items
information books related to the story

I decided to use the book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell as Hartley loves anything animal related at the moment. He has never heard this story before so this made it even more special but of course you can make a story sack for your child's favourite story.

As Hartley is only one I decided to keep the story sack simple. I collected all the animals from the story. We had most of them already, the ones we didn't have I picked up from charity shops.
To make the story even more fun I put each animal in their own parcel or container. I added labels and tags which were the same as the book. Even though Hartley cannot read, it helped me know which animal was in which container.

I read the story to Hartley and then gave him the parcel that contained the animal on that page. He really enjoyed opening the parcels and finding the animals.

 Hartley recognised the elpehant and made an 'elephant' sound!

 Hartley was so excited as I gave him each parcel.
 He loved looking at the pictures. Dear Zoo is a lift the flap book, which he really enjoyed too.

We spent all afternoon playing with the animals and the boxes. Hartley loved putting the different animals into the different containers. This book was absolutely perfect for him at the moment as he loves 'posting' items at the moment.
I was amazed how long he concentrated on this activity and re read the story many times throughout the day. 

What did Hartley learn?
- Enjoying looking at and handling books with interest.
- shape and space - enjoying filling and emptying containers
- using sounds in play (making animal noises)
- recognising animals
- fine motor skills - opening the different parcels

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