Story Sack Ideas

story sack gruffalo

Gruffalo and Mouse figures available at Babipur

What is a “story sack” and some story sack ideas

A story sack is fantastic activity for you and your child to to have fun whilst contributing to their learning and literacy. It is a way of making reading memorable and enjoyable. Quite simply, it is a bag (or box / basket) that contains a copy of your child’s favourite book and various visual aids that relate to the plot and characters of the story itself. Through acting out and engaging your child with the story you will be able to support their development of knowledge, communication and empathy whilst stimulating their senses.

How do you use a story sack?

Firstly, remember that you are helping to build imagination and confidence so try not to have too many ‘rules’, the activity should be fun! Depending on the age and nature of your child, you can be more structured, with questions and supporting activities. There is no right or wrong when using a story sack and they can used in different ways. At the beginning of the story all the items will be contained within the sack, including the book. Your child may like to get all the items out of the bag individually as the story plays out, or may lay out all the props at once from the start. Sometimes, whilst they are getting used to the idea of what story sacks are all about, your child may want you to lead the activity and handle the props, but once they become more established they will soon want to lead the story telling! Create a safe environment for your child to explore the story, characters and themes by listening and repeating ideas but try not to correct them.

Octopus's garden story sack

What skills am I helping my child to develop?

Confidence – You will probably notice an increase in confidence as your child embraces story sacks. It gives the opportunity to speak a story aloud, describe their ideas and feelings long before they are able to read. They can ‘tell the story’ purely from what is remembered or take it in a direction they feel more suitable at that moment in time.

Empathy – When acting out characters in the story, your child will have a deeper understanding of the emotion that individual may be feeling during the plot of the story. It also aids understanding of the relationships between characters within the book. You can stimulate their thinking by asking questions such as ‘how do think think that made … feel?’ or ‘what do you think … was feeling?’.

Storytelling skills – The ability to share and express your thoughts through role play is a fantastic life skill. Your child will enjoy being given the opportunity to be creative and express their ideas.

What else can I do with the story sack?

Some children will be content to act out the story using the visual aids you have provided. As time goes on, you may find your child is ready to expand on the activity and enjoy more structure. Here are some suggestions as to how to develop understanding:

  • Include activity cards in the sack
  • Think of games to play that will explore the story further
  • Ask questions about the characters or themes in the story
  • Create recipes that could relate to the story or have been mentioned
  • Use food along with the story to stimulate the sense of taste eg The Hungry Caterpillar
  • Have paper and crayons available to draw characters or a map of the story
  • Use modelling clay to re tell elements of the story

Examples of Story Sacks The Grufallo by Julia Donaldson – Can be used for creative thinking and exploring ideas. Your child (and you) will love to act out the characters using your voice and actions to stimulate their senses. You could create a cooking activity for some of the food mentioned in the story eg Owl Ice cream or Gruffalo Crumble.  View wooden Gruffalo figures at Babipur here

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen – a fantastic story for sensory play. The example in this picture uses sensory pouches (made from laminate pouches sealed on all sides) which is ideal for children from a young age to engage with the story. Because of the language used during the adventure there is a great deal of emphasis on movement and sounds so it is ideal to include some music or instruments. This story is also great for connecting with nature, thinking about the outdoors and also weather activities. Holztiger wooden figures can be found here and all kinds of doll people here 

bear hunt story sack

The Lion Who Wanted to Love Giles Andreae – This is great for talking about the ‘moral’ of a story and helping your child explore themes of family, friendship and empathy.  Holztiger wooden figures work really well with this one.

Lion story sack

Friends by Helen Oxenbury – A much simpler story sack for young readers. From a very young age your child will be able to identify the pictures and start to associate them with the objects you are showing them. You can stimulate hearing, sight, touch and taste (if the mouth the pieces which they inevitably will!). Pictured here with Lanka Kade natural wooden animals

friends story sack

What is your favourite story to read with your child or children? Can you see how you can turn it into a story sack?

Zog and the flying doctors story sack Snail and the whale story sack A squash and a squeeze story sack duck in the truck story sack plenty of love to go round story sack Zog story sack

10th Birthday Competition Winners

This year we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary here at Babipur.  We first opened our doors back in 2007 as a work from home business when our children were babies.  Still based in Snowdonia we’ve steadily grown and we now employ 15 people.  Our aim at Babipur remains the same as it always was, to introduce fair trade, sustainable and ethical products to our customers while offering great customer service. We have lots of plans for the future and we hope to have another successful 10 years ahead of us.

We know how much Babipurians (a slang for Babipur followers) love giveaways and competitions so we recently ran a competition asking you, our customers, to wish us a Happy Birthday. The entries completely blew us away!  We are extremely grateful to all who entered and made such an incredible effort.  What else can we say, you guys are simply awesome!  We put together this video to show off some of the entries we received.

Competition winners

We had to narrow down the entries to 10 winners which has been very difficult because there have been so many fantastic offerings.  We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, there were lots and lots entries that we wanted so much to give a prize to but we had to choose the winners and here they are in no particular order, the prizes were chosen at random.

Beth  made this amazing birthday cake with nappies on a washing line and it also came with rainbow cupcakes and nappy cupcakes too. Hand delivered to Babipur towers (Pride carrier winner)

Becky made a birthday calendar with the help of her little one which we thought was wonderful (Babipur playmat winner)

Paige made this crochet blanket for us, it’s huge! The time and care taken on this is astonishing (12 Grapat Nins winner)

Llleanna made a Welsh love spoon featuring the Babipur elephant, the babywearing symbol, a nappy and the number 10 (Klean Kanteen winner)

Gemma crocheted this cushion with the Babipur logo and a rainbow on the back along with a picture that her son made for us (Plan Toys Bee Hives winner)

Charlotte made a wonderful picture which includes a wide range of Babipur’s favourite products enclosed inside a heart.  (Wobbel board winner)

Danica created an amazing collage made using labels and snippets from our leaflets and featuring the brands we sell along with the Babipur elephant (birthday nappy winner)

Kayleigh made this animated video telling the story of Babipur which is pretty amazing (Grimm’s rainbows winner)

Happy 10th Birthday, Babi Pur! Please excuse my poor Welsh pronunciation! #lovebabipur

Posted by Kayleigh Loffhagen on Sunday, 30 April 2017

Jade sent us this picture of some special Babipur memories and also had a sticker made for the rear window of her VW van which was spotted by another Babipurian before her entry came in.  That’s dedication (Bajo pebbles winner)

Katie sent us a picture of her little one wearing our 10th anniversary edition nappy along with a T-shirt she’d made (Babipur bibs winner)competition winners

Runners up

We also had to choose 10 runners up which was just as hard to pick.  Each runner up receives a £10 Babipur voucher.

Oana sent us this beautiful picture with nappies drying on the line and lots of her favourite Babipur goodies

Ieva made this Babipur elephant to fit inside a Grimm’s celebration ring

Kathrin made a Holztiger size Babipur elephant and sent it too us

Melissa decorated her window with tissue paper to make a stained glass effect

Clare painted us a beautiful watercolour

Eira and Katie sent us a card with their little ones wearing Babipur birthday nappies

Claire sent us a picture using lots of Babipur products to wish us a happy birthday

Emma wrote a song to the tune of the spice girls wannabe.  We’re still trying to convince the team to sing it with us.

Sonia created a cross stitch of our logo

Alwen made a stunning celebration glass

runners up picture

Winners please claim your prizes by emailing rainbow “at” babipur.co.uk with your name address and phone number and we’ll send out your prize as swiftly as we can.

Thank you – Gift voucher for all the entries

We keep saying it but we were completely overwhelmed by all the amazing entries, it was so so hard to choose the winners.  We were also sent home made cakes, biscuits, hand made elephant toys, drawings, cards, well wishes and lots and lots of creative, fun and beautiful pictures.

There were so many entries that we really wanted to include in the winners list but there simply wasn’t room.  We’re so grateful for the effort you’ve all put in that we’d like offer everyone who entered a £5.00 gift voucher.  We thought this was a nice way to say thank you to everyone and that you could use the voucher to save towards a future birthday or Christmas which lots of our customers use our gift vouchers for already.  To claim your voucher please email rainbow “at” babipur.co.uk with a link to your entry.

Thanks again from Jolene, Peter & the team

#lovebabipur

Nappy guide: washing cloth nappies

washing cloth nappies

Forget the days of nappies soaking in a bucket, followed by fearfully boiling them. Thanks to modern detergents and efficient washing machines, washing cloth nappies these days is wonderfully straightforward: cold rinse, hot wash, line dry, done!

One rule to remember is: no fabric softener! This reduces the absorbency of the nappies, not so good for something used for a absorbing wee and poo. (if this ever happens thanks to a well-intentioned helper, just rinse, rinse, rinse!!!!)

Washing cloth nappies – starter guide

The most effective routine for washing cloth nappies is a cold rinse, with no detergent, followed by a long, 40-60 degree wash with a good dose of detergent. The cold rinse will lightly wash off wee and poo from the nappies, ready to let the hot wash do its work. Most washing machines come with an allergy or baby setting – a cycle of 2 hours is about right: perfect for putting a wash on before doing the school run, over lunch or the kids’ bathtime, or overnight if your machine has a timer.

A scoop of Violets mineral bleach will add some pizzazz to help remove stains (this hero of the laundry world can also rescue school uniform, CSP, towels – anything that needs a stain sorting.) Or, you can try some magic in your wash, with Tots Bots Potion: a chemical-free and enzyme-free detergent that is anti-bacterial, allowing you to wash cloth nappies as low as 30 degrees! They also come in a yummy choice of bubblegum or mint humbug, or you can stick to unscented if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

Tots Bot Potion Powder

Magical potion for your nappies: Tots Bots Potion

Once the wash has finished, it’s time to enjoy the wonderful sight of freshly washed nappies on your washing line. Fresh air and sunshine are best to keep stains at bay, but don’t worry if you don’t have the space or weather, air drying on a clothes horse is grand, too. A multi-peg sock hanger is fab for your wipes, liners and boosters.

Washed nappies drying on a sunny day

A perfect nappy washing day!

Drying cloth nappies

Generally, it’s best to steer clear of the tumble drier (think of the electricity you’ll save!), but in a time-saving emergency, anything without PUL can be tumbled on a low/cool heat (boosters, prefolds, fitted nappies, wipes).

Drying times differ according to each nappy: bamboo and hemp take the longest, microfibre and milovia inserts are super quick, and terry towelling and prefolds are somewhere in the middle. In the winter, nappies shouldn’t be placed directly onto a radiator, as this will affect the PUL and parch your nappies. We find putting your clothes airer right next to a radiator can make a huge difference in speeding up the drying time.

Before you know it, you’ll have the timing of washing cloth nappies sorted, and believe us when we say the delight in seeing those wee nappies drying on the line is so compelling, you’ll soon be sharing  photos on our Facebook hangout page. There is also something highly satisfying and therapeutic in folding them, too…!

Nappies washed and dried, ready to sort

A satisfying nappy sorting session

Cloth nappies – where to start?!

starting cloth nappies

Photo credit: Heather Calver @areusablelife

You’ve decided to try cloth nappies, that’s brilliant! Now what?!

Whether it’s because you want to reduce your waste, your disposable options have let you down too many times, or you simply can’t resist a big, fluffy baby bum, it can feel a little daunting getting started, but don’t worry! Here’s our starter cloth nappy guide to get you up to speed.

Firstly, we recommend trying a few different cloth nappies, as each have their own benefits which suit your little one as well as your own laundry routine.

For a full day in cloth, you will need:

  • Approx 6-10 nappies (6 for a toddler, 10 for a newborn)
  • a wet bag or nappy bucket for wet and dirty nappies
  • liners are optional but they’re handy for catching poo
  • a cute baby (supplied by you)

To switch to cloth full time you will need 15-24 nappies (24 allows you to wash 2 days’ worth of nappies, and still have 2 days’ worth clean and dry), although this depends on how often your baby likes to wee and poo!

We recommend giving all nappies a prewash. Nappies with bamboo or hemp, such as the Tots Bots bamboozle, will need up to 5 washes to reach their maximum absorbency. You can wash and immediately rewash, or simply choose to change your baby more frequently while the nappy gets to maximum absorbency.

Simply place your chosen liner inside the cloth nappy, making sure all the liner is tucked in, then fasten the nappy onto your baby. Cloth nappies fit slightly differently to disposables: you need to start with the nappy much lower down at the back, just covering their wee bottoms, and higher up at the front.

How often do I change a cloth bum baby?

Cloth nappies generally need changing every 3 hours or so during the day.  This varies depending on your child’s wee capacity and the nappy you are using.  There are super absorbent nappies that will last all through the night.

What about poo?!

Oh yes, babies love to poo! Both breastfed and formula fed babies will still have very soft poo, which you can rinse off in the toilet, though usually it’s fine to go straight in the washing machine. Once babies start doing ‘proper’ poos, you can flick the poo off the paper or fleece liner into a toilet. Nappy buckets can be handy for a quick swill of those delightful teething nappies.

Where do the nappies go?

There is no need to soak your nappies, once you have removed any excess poo, simply put them in your wet bag or nappy bucket – just make sure you remove any paper liners and fold back any aplix laundry tabs. It’s best not to leave used nappies any longer than 3 days. Then you can wash them: rinse, hot wash, line or tumble dry, fold/stuff, and start again! Wet bags can be washed with the nappies, too.

Wet bags full of cloth nappies, ready to wash

Cloth nappies on the go

Using cloth nappies when you’re out and about is just as easy. All you need extra is a small/medium wet bag for the used nappies, and a cloth wipe bag if you’ve decided to use cloth wipes, too. Just make sure you have enough cloth nappies to last during the time you are out, then, when baby needs changing, just put the used nappies in the wet bag (minus poo if you can find a toilet), and add to your changing bag. So much easier than trying to find a bin for the used nappy! You can literally change baby anywhere (car boots, the beach, at the office when you’ve brought baby into work and, yup, they’ve filled their nappy!)

The important thing is just to give it a go, you’ll be surprised how quickly you fall into a routine. Even doing cloth part time, perhaps just at home while you get used to them, would save over 2700 nappies going to landfill (based on using 3 cloth nappies a day for 2.5 years). The cloth nappy community is ready and eager to help you find the right type and right routine, and we’re happy to have any excuse to chat about cloth nappies with you, so just ask us via our usual customer service contact options, or there are plenty of fellow cloth nappy fans on our wonderful Facebook hangout page.

Starting cloth nappies at birth to potty time

You can start at any time from birth… to potty!

Grapat Nins – What is a Nin?

Grapat Nins® Wooden Peg Dolls

Nins at Babipur

Welcome to the world of the Grapat Nins®.  A beautiful collection of Waldorf style wooden peg dolls that children adore.  The Nins® come in a range of colours, styles and some are made using different types of wood.  They’re lovely and tactile and pleasing to hold in your hand.  These simplistic wooden pegs dolls have no expression, gender or clothing which allows children to imagine them to be whatever they like without the constraints put in place by many other toys available.  This makes Grapat Nins® a popular choice for parents looking for Waldorf and Montessori toys for their children. Continue reading

These are a Few of our Favourite (toy) Things

Toy Favourites at Babipur

A customer of ours asked a very good question in our Facebook group the other day.

“So… Babipur team, what’s the most underrated toy that you sell? The one that you think is really awesome but doesn’t seem as popular as some of the others!! I see rainbows and bee hives and holztiger being bought all the time, and I’m just after other suggestions that I might not have found on your website!”

We’ve been selling quality toys since 2007 and the choice we offer is now pretty incredible so it’s hard to pick out just a few but here goes.

Haba Discovery Balls & Clutching Range

Haba clutching toys
Continue reading