How to Create a Story Sack

How to encourage kids to read

Close up mother and son reading book
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What is a "Story Sack"? It's simply a bag or sack of some sort which contains a story book along with related craft ideas, games and other engaging activities.

Why make one? What better way to get a child interested in reading than by getting him involved with the story in the book. Imagine the excitement of not only reading about the story's characters but also making related puppets or other crafts, playing a game, wearing a costume, and more.

This is a great way for parents and children to read stories together. Grandparents, teachers, childcare providers, babysitters and anyone else who spends time with children will also find these useful.

Read on to Make a Story Sack...

  1. Start With a Bag
  2. Picking a Story
  3. Filling Your Story Sack
  4. Story Sack Idea Index

You don't need a fancy bag to make a story sack; even a simple paper bag will do. Just decorate the outside of the bag, fill it with the book and other goodies and viola! Even a laminated folder or large envelope works well too.

If you want to get a bit fancier, get some inexpensive canvas sack at a crafts store and decorate using fabric paints and other craft products. If you are really ambitious, you can make your own custom-made sacks with these easy tote bag patterns.

The bag's appearance doesn't matter too much, though it should be inviting to the child. It's what's inside the bag that counts!

The Next Step Is to Pick a Story... 

Pick a storybook that the child will like and take into account any special interests of favorite characters that child likes. For example, don't pick out a story about cats if the child loves dogs! The more interested the child is in the subject of the story, the more likely he will be to read and enjoy the book. Also, pick a book that's appropriate for the child's age and abilities.

Visit your local library to see what is available, or do some research to see what books are popular right now! Once you've decided on a story, fill your sack with related items...

With some stories, the possibilities are endless for related crafts, games, and more. With others, you'll have to get a bit more creative. Here are some ideas for what to put in the sack with the storybook:

  • Supplies to make related puppets, games, props, costumes, etc.
  • A CD of the story being told
  • Related coloring books or coloring pages
  • A fact book to learn more about situations or elements the story
  • A game or toy that is related to the story
  • Pictures of related places or events
  • Paper and crayons to write or draw their own story
  • Written suggestions and items to help act out the story
  • Artifacts related to the story
  • Related videos to watch