Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guidecraft Review & Giveaway Link: Steve Light Storybox: Hansel & Gretel

Each month, the Guidecraft Educators will share our honest feelings about a Guidecraft product(s) and how these products would fare in an early childhood classroom. This month's selection is from the new Storytelling-Steve Light product line, a Household Helpers line, storytelling boxes that contain a popular children's fairy tale along with pieces to use in collaboration with the telling of the tale.   These storytelling boxes are absolutely wonderful to use with young children and I can't wait until I have the opportunity to use them with my Head Start kids - I can only imagine the language and imaginations that will run wild while using them!

The Hansel & Gretel Storytelling Box

With all of the pieces neatly packaged inside (as is true of all the storytelling boxes), this compact kit with neatly "chiseled wood" characters and props is sure to be an eye catcher with children!  For the most part, the pieces are large and easily manageable for young children to explore, either in a retelling aspect or in their own story-telling imaginations.  I do worry about the small "crumbs" that Hansel & Gretel leave behind as they set forth to explore the forest... they are small... while most four-year olds know better than to put things in their mouth, there is the slight chance that younger siblings in the classroom could put the pieces in their mouth... that some less mature fours may put the pieces in their mouths.. or that the pieces will just wind up lost.  However, I think given the opportunity to explore with such wonderful materials and shown how to use them properly, children will be "responsible" and will show that they can be trusted to use them properly!  

Thoughts on the Storytelling Boxes

I absolutely love the entire concept of these storytelling boxes!  They are so well thought out and prepared... children are going to love exploring and using these!  Not only do I hope to get my hands on all four of the current storytelling boxes, I'm also planning to "make" some of my own - to expand and encourage storytelling in my classroom.  When children become actively engaged in storytelling they are much more likely to enjoy the idea of "stories" and "reading."  Not only will children enjoy using the pieces in each of the storytelling boxes to retell the fairy tales after they have become familiar with them - I see children using the pieces and creating their own stories - what a wonderful way to encourage vocabulary development and usage!

I hope in the coming weeks to purchase a few of my own boxes, Unfinished Cigar Boxes, and begin grouping objects to place inside them to create my own storytelling boxes, allowing children to use their imaginations and creativity to expand oral language and story telling skills.  I think this would be a wonderful large group activity and that children will really take ownership over - both in creating stories of their own, as well as in listening to the stories of their peers! 

So... what do other 'Guidecraft Educators' have to say about the different storytelling boxes (different 'Guidecraft Educators' have reviewed the different boxes)?
Maureen at Simply Stacie
Andrea at MommyPR
Deborah at Teach Preschool
Carrie from Huppie Mama
Jody from Mommy Moment
Candace at Mamanista!
Lisa from Planet Weidknecht
Vanessa from Pre-K Pages
The Giveaway

Guidecraft is generously offering ONE lucky reader of the Guidecraft Educators a chance to win one of these fabulous storytelling boxes!!! To enter, head on over and check out Vanessa's post at Pre-K Pages before July 30th.

Or... if you just can't wait to win one and NEED them now, they can be purchased online at:
Hansel & Gretel: or
Little One Inch: or
Rapunzel: or
The Girl Who Loved Danger: or


If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!