The Gruffalo (and other things that start with Grrrrr)!

abc doesReading6 Comments

DSC02545 Even though I have read it at least a thousand times I still love it! It is one of those books that I really wish I had written ( I have a long list).

It is a good book on lots of levels but I particularly like it as a teaching tool because of its very simple but very effective story language. Lots of repetition which is really good for allowing non readers to 'read along' to the memorised text, really building their self esteem.

I wanted to capitalise on this element of book and the fact that it has a high engagement factor for both boys and girls.

Added to that I wanted to use it as an outdoor adult focus that could then be left in Continuous Provision.

Now then, outdoor play is supposed to offer a very different experience from indoor play. It should not just be taking your inside resources out. I know books can be effective both in and out but I wanted to embrace the concept of outdoor linking to indoor but providing something different and something that embraces the essence of outdoors – Nature!

It is at this point that the very talented Mrs B-C came to my rescue. She took time out of her workshop at the bottom of the garden where she makes 'things of great gorgeousness' ( 


to find me these. They are 'Gruffalo Story Stones'  that she had made for Alfie years ago. All 3 boys have loved playing with them but they were packed away safely somewhere that I couldn't find. (Apparantly it is the way that I look for things)!

They are simply stones that you can use to tell a story. She had painted them with acrylic paint and then varnished them. Alfie is now 11 years old so they have lasted really well! There is endless potential for stories that you could use these with (as long as you, or someone else you know can paint)!

The Little Mouse is my favourite, not just because it is cute but because the stone is so tactile.


Once you had got children into the idea of Story Stones there would be nothing to stop you from providing some adult created ones but then just lots of blank stones of different sizes with pencils, charcoal, chalk etc to let them create their own stones from familiar tales or their own original stories.

Grrrr… this week to technology. Why does it never work? Had hoped to have some static pages on the blog by now so that I could collect together all of my resources in one place but for some very technological reason (unknown to me) it hasn't happened yet. I have assurances that it will be done by Monday!

Grrrr... Great news about running some ABC Does… conferences across the country this year. I have agreed venues and am now just looking into possible dates. The first one will be in Manchester in June so watch this space for more details!

Too exciting!




6 Comments on “The Gruffalo (and other things that start with Grrrrr)!”

  1. Really like the idea of the stones – do you literally just tell the stories with them (kind of like puppets)? Will get my children collecting appropriate stones asap – they like collecting stones. I’m wondering about ‘making story stones’ as a possible activity for World Book Day on Thursday.
    And just a note on longevity of painted stones – when I was a little girl (probably about 30 years ago now) my mum painted a stone to look like a ladybird for me – using airfix model paints and no varnish over the top. I still have it! It sat out in my garden in all weathers for at least 6 of those 30 years and still looks lovely.

  2. Love those stones, if only I could paint! They look such a great idea that if I can locate some suitable stones I might actually have a go! (sadly the resullts will be nowhere near as pretty, but I’m sure the children will forgive me!)

  3. Please don’t forget the North East…your Homeland?! I would use Paypal now if you said you were coming! I cannot express how much you have motivated me, even on a Blog. I continually look forward to the next installment. Tinker Trays and Cardboard Box Corner are all parts of our classroom now. Your guidance was also greatly appreciated during our ‘Armies’ mini topic! Now where did I put that bag of pebbles and my paints………

  4. Oh wow I LOVE the stones and I want some!!!! (and I can’t paint)
    Please do some conferences near Reading! I’d love to come along. 🙂

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