My two year old (Hunter Bear, as we affectionately call him), Loves the book Go, Dog Go! We read it every single morning, and usually at least once again throughout the day. While re-reading is an important part of enjoying literature and learning to sight read, I do like to mix things up a bit. When my kids show a particular interest in a story, I like to try to extend it with some type of activity to build on that interest (Goodnight Moon Sorting Activity, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Costume, Inside, Outside Upside Down Activity). Today, I decided to make a storytelling basket based on the book. OK, So I kind of cheated and used a box instead of a basket…but you get the point 😉 If you’re unfamiliar with storytelling baskets, they are just baskets (or boxes), where you gather materials that are found in a specific book to encourage pretend play, talk about the elements of the story, and make connections to literature. In our case, we used Go, Dog, Go! and collected items from our toys to represent things found in the book. Here’s a few items we used in this box:
- Felt squares to represent grass, water, and a street.
- Dog figurines
- Toy boat
- Small car/taxi
- Plastic ladder (from this toy set)
- Makeshift tree
- Felt “scarf”
- Wood block with traffic lights colored on it
Fist off, I have to explain the tree. In the book, the dogs go on top of a tree to have a dog party. When I saw this tree from Little Worlds, it inspired me to make my own. We used a toilet paper roll covered in wood grain contact paper, and used a juice cap for the tree top! It works perfect because the dogs can stand on it!
We also made a small traffic light with an old Jenga block. This little light was a great way to reinforce colors, a skill we are still working on, and talk about what traffic lights do. It made a great pretend play prop in our little scene! Hunter kept referring to the book to re-enact the story. It made my mama-teacher heart smile to see him developing reference skills, recalling elements of the story, and enjoying learning through play!
Have you put together a storytelling basket before? It really is super simple to put together an can work for almost any book in your home. All you have to do is gather to toy, add in a few creative elements, and watch your kids play and learn! Which book will you start with first?