Whatever Next – Story Box

Sophie discovered a love for the moon last winter when she noticed it through the skylight while eating dinner. She now points to the moon in her books every time she spots it. Her baby monitor has a star show that projects onto her ceiling and I am pretty sure that that is the reason why she is happy to be left to fall asleep in her cot as she lies with a cuddly toy and shows them the moon!

I remembered a book that I thought she would love called ‘Whatever Next’ which is about a teddy that wants to go to the moon. He makes a space rocket out of a box and travels to the moon for a picnic. The book was an instant hit so I decided to gather together some props and see if she would be able to pretend to be in the story. At 18 months old, I was surprised at how well she joined in.

We looked at the pages in the story and found the props that match. Here is Sophie trying to put on her ‘space boots’.


Here she is with her space helmet!


Once she was dressed and ready to fly to the moon we got into our ‘rocket’. We talked about the photos, Sophie pointed to the moon and we waved to the people on the airplane.


When we arrived on the moon, we had a picnic. I tried to talk to Sophie about what was happening in the picture. We spotted lots of things in the picture that we had on our picnic blanket too.


She kindly shared her biscuit with her teddy and made me a cup of tea, which we pretended to drink while making the obligatory pretend tea drinking slurping sounds.


I left this story box in her playroom with the book and the props. She would help herself to the props, and often walked around with her space helmet on! She also learnt to put her wellies on herself from having this prop box out. We had a lot of picnics using her play food and blanket too and once the weather warmed up we ate our actual lunch on the picnic blanket in the garden.

Once Sophie started to lose interest in the story box I put it away and replaced it with a different story sack. We currently have the Three Little Pigs out and rather than walking round with a space helmet on she is often found wearing a wolf hat!

This activity is good for:

  • Listening and Attention – listening to stories with increasing attention and recall
  • Understanding of preposition words e.g. put the space hat on your head
  • Imagination – beginning to make-believe by pretending
  • Speaking – using sounds in play
  • Reading – being interested in stories and using their imagination to join in with a story


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