Using Story Sacks to bring Story Books to Life

Back in May, I wrote a blog about 50 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar  and described a visit to the local library with Daisy where we selected some books and a Story Sack to borrow from the library.  While Daisy is now familiar with borrowing library books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar was her first story sack.

 A story sack is a large fabric drawstring bag which contains the story book, some story props, a related non-fiction book and a game of some ideas for activities.  Here are the contents of The Very Hungry Caterpillar story sack.

A library story sack for Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar containing materials for story-linked activities.

 Using props with a story book provides an interactive way to engage children in storytelling and helps them remember the story  The props stimulate a child’s imagination helping them relate to the characters in the story which in turn will strengthen emotion development.

Soft toy caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly from within a library story sack for Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 The contents of a story sack provide a wealth of story-linked activities.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar story sack also included an A4 sheet of activity suggestions for parents (and grandparents!).  You’ll find more ideas will emerge as you use the book and story sack. 

A child reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle with an adult with the contents of a story sack nearby

 As I was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Daisy she was determined to match each story prop to the appropriate page in the book and she particularly enjoyed fitting the food over the images in the book..  This, in it’s turn, lead to plenty of counting and talking about the caterpillar eating MORE each day which made more links back to our recent grocery shopping outing (previous blog) 

A page from Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar with soft toy plums from a library story sack laid on top of the corresponding page in the book

 After we had read the book and had used all of the story props, Daisy held onto the butterfly imitating a butterfly in flight.  Daddy arrived at this stage and Daisy began to talk about butterflies.  Then Daisy went off with Daddy to see if there were any butterflies on our garden as Daddy talked to her about different sizes of butterflies. 

 It wasn’t long before Daisy was able to tell me that we had white butterflies in our garden. 

A child plays with a soft-toy caterpillar while reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


 Our first story sack experience demonstrated just how stimulating a story sack can be.  While listening to the story Daisy used the story props to follow along, then she practised her counting skills, had an introduction to the life cycle of a butterfly, looked and found butterflies on our garden. All of this prompted Daisy to remember our visit to the Butterfly House at the London Zoo where a huge, brightly patterned butterfly sat on her buggy and refused to move off!

Story sacks were first created in the 1990’s and they have become a popular resource in nurseries and schools.  Nowadays story sacks are also accessible to parents and grandparents, through local libraries.  (Our story sack counted as one item when we took it out on loan and had was on loan for the same length of time as a book would be).

 Granny Smith says

As the school holiday approaches, the summer reading challenge ‘Space Chase’ is underway at local libraries.  It’s a great opportunity for grand parents to encourage our grandchildren to borrow books and story sacks from the library and to take up the Summer Reading Challenge.

4 thoughts on “Using Story Sacks to bring Story Books to Life

  1. Dear Granny Smith,

    There is a place on your blog that says ‘View all comments’, however when I click on it there don’t seem to be any ! (This despite the fact that I have made complimentary comments from time to time !).

    Yours etc., etc.,

    Aunty Clarissa


    1. Hi Aunty Clarissa
      You can find any comments that I have received and approved on my blog. They are listed with each separate post. Directly under each separate post heading you should find a link to any comments I have received about that posting.
      Hope that you can spot them now


  2. Hello Granny Smith,

    I have enjoyed reading this post 🙂 I landed on the link as I’m desperately searching the Internet to buy this exact Story Sack set. My son who’s birthday is coming up has formed a strong attachment to the toy caterpillar from nursery(the same one in your photo), but I’m struggling to find him to buy online.. Your help to find a seller would be HUGELY appreciated! ❤❤❤ Thank you so much 🐛💗 Jess x


    1. Hello Jess,
      I can understand your son’s strong attachment with the Hungry Caterpillar soft toy. I borrowed that story sack from our local library and it is exactly the same as this set on Amazon But unfortunately that is currently unavailable. There is this caterpillar also on Amazon which seems to be similar in appearance Rainbow Designs HC96211 Hungry Caterpillar Bean Toy Eric Carle. I have seen also seen The Hungry Caterpillar sets on ebay but not with such realistic likeness to the one in the book. I hope this is some help. Good luck from Granny Smith


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