Random ramblings and TV-inspired activities

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

DIY story book

I suppose, if anything, Driver Dan's Story Train inspired this activity. When it comes on, I always have to pretend to be Driver Dan, ToddlerGirl is Hip and BabyBoy has to be Hop (rabbits, donchaknow). Sundry cuddly toys get to rotate the task of being Twinkle. The redeeming feature of the programme is the stories, which the eponymous lion reads in the later half of the episode - proper books! The first half is some loosely thrown together plot which has something to do with the following story. I'm not really a fan, but it is completely inoffensive and it is a good introduction to some stories I, sorry, we may not otherwise encounter. I've recognised a couple that have come on, but most are new to us. (Another way to find new books is #fictionfriday on Twitter, championed by HomeDad.)

ToddlerGirl's very into her imaginative play. She has a slightly disturbing fascination with pretending dried apricots are babies, and that she is a troll who lives under the bridge (for that, read dining table) who pops up to steal the babies and eat them. She likes it best if I pretend they are my babies and she has to wrest them from me with some semblance of a struggle... There is some deeply disturbing sibling rivalry subtext to this, isn't there? She also likes pretending to sail boats, while pretending her brother's a big fish roaming the seas, so it's not all baby-eating. Honest. She throws him back most times.

Anyway, today I decided to try and channel some of that imagination, as I was tired and wanted to do something sitting-downy. So I made a blank book and got her to tell me the story while I wrote it down. She then drew pictures to go with the words. It was quite good fun!


Some A4 paper, folded widthways in two (I used 5 sheets)
A needle
Some thread
Coloured pens

Take the folded paper and make two big stitches in it with the needle and thread to hold it together as a book. You could use staples if you wanted, but I couldn't find the stapler. And this way I don't have to worry about the staples coming out and getting eaten or embedded in feet/fingers/other.
Get toddler to tell you a story, and transcribe!
I went for the minimal intervention approach, although I did point out when we were starting to run out of pages that maybe we were getting to the end.

For those of you who are interested, here is the story ToddlerGirl wrote:

Once upon a time...
There was a car and a rabbit.
The rabbit was stuck up a mountain.
The car was stuck in the water. The car was sinking.
Fireman Sam likes rescuing things.
He is going to rescue the rabbit first.
He is going to climb up a ladder and rescue the rabbit.
Now the rabbit isn't stuck any more.
Fireman Sam is going to sail in a boat and rescue the car.
Fireman Sam loves me.
Let's have a picnic for Fireman Sam.
Everybody is happy!
Then Fireman Sam got stuck!
What a silly Fireman Sam!
The car can't reach him.
But the rabbit can jump up high and reach him.
The rabbit jumped high and rescued Fireman Sam.
What a clever Fireman Sam!
Now Fireman Sam isn't stuck.
The rabbit jumped down and they had a picnic and a tea party.
And nobody got stuck again. What silly things!


  1. Please tell Toddler Girl that Chocolate lady and wheelchair boy are most impressed with the book and want to know if you'll be writing a bedtime story for us every night?

  2. Aw, thank you! I will tell her you both enjoyed it. As to more stories, you never know - she's quite taken with this one but once she's bored of it, if the Muse takes her...!

  3. This story is beyond adorable

  4. I bet she was so proud of herself. A lovely idea!

  5. I love all of that! She must be so happy.

  6. Lovely idea!
    Will do with my prescooler on our home day