Bringing Favourite Stories to Life for Families at Expecting Something

6 May 2021

This Children’s Book Week, Artist and Expecting Something coordinator, Kerry Cleland shares how she brings children’s books to life for families at Expecting Something.

Last year at Expecting Something we brought a few familiar fairytales and storybooks to life. GoldiLOCKS became GoldiCHALKS who was a bit wild! She enjoyed a bit of graffiti and making a mess with porridge and a range of different textured food. There were porridge bowls of all different sizes that made different noises, wee ones could bang on a range of utensils and built a house in the woods from our gazebo and a variety of materials. Families ventured into the woodlands to find the bears and came across Goldi having a wee rave to herself and wrecking the joint! It was anarchic and from the offset wee ones were encouraged to dance, make noise, explore the textures, throw things in the air and mark make with chalk paint and chalks. We then read some of the story and finished off with a hunt for the bears and brought them all back to bed to chill out. We pulled ideas from a traditional fairytale, played and had fun with it.

We did similar a thing with Hansel and Gretel. Giant sensory sweets hanging in the woods, towering play dough cakes and mini houses. With the Stickman story , families were sent off to search for the best sticks to make our own stick puppets, and we read the story together in amongst the trees. Sometimes the babies sit and stare intently, enjoying the storytelling face and words whilst others wander around opting in and out or playing with the materials we have brought with us, inspired by the book. We love using books sometimes as a way to spark off ideas for a session and other times we like to just chill and read with the families. We love trying out different accents, rhythms, volume, characters and encouraging parents to find more enjoyment and fun when reading with their wee ones.