Stanley’s School, William Bee

Here in Scotland we are just about to go back to school. Stanley’s School is a cheerful story about a school day that will give you a chance to remind your wee ones about their school routine and discuss how things may be different at school now. Stanley’s School is widely available available in hardback and paperback and (for those of you who are heading back to school next week) you can also get it on Kindle .

In the days leading up to the start of school – and also maybe in the first few weeks when your child is still getting used to their new routine you could gather together some of their ‘back to school’ things to use as props while you are reading the story together.

Pretend to hang their coat and schoolbag on a peg. (Check first that your school will be allowing children to bring bags to school with current Covid restrictions.)

If you happen to know the morning song or activity your child’s teacher will be using you could include a little bit of this when you are looking at the ‘register’ page. (So long as it will not confuse your child to hear this out of context.)

Remind your child of the outdoor activities they enjoy at break time. Talk about the movement involved to help them remember (e.g. On the swing you go ‘whee!’) If they do gardening like the pupils at Stanley’s school you could include a watering can or gardening gloves as you tell the story.

Child's pink lunch box to use as sensory story prop.

Talk about lunch time (will it be different from before?) and include your child’s lunch box if they have one. And then get out some paint brushes for the painting page.

Toy wooden bus

If you have a toy bus or car (depending how your child goes to school) you could use this at the beginning of the story and for the going home page. Then for the last couple of pages you could use some soap and a towel and a cuddly blanket. If appropriate you could remind your child that they may need some extra sleep for the first few weeks of school!

Folded cosy blanket

Remember – not all of my props recommendations are toys! The props I suggest should not be used by children unsupervised.