Storybook games

Anytime I find a children’s book that is really well written and I know my students will enjoy it – I try to think of ways to expand on that book.  One way I expand on a children’s book is by coming up with a story book game…

In my previous post, I shared with you how we read “Pete the Cat: by Eric Litwin. As part of the reading experience, I thought it would be fun to play a game using shoes or shoe prints or shoe cut-outs in some way…

I settled on construction paper shoe cutouts and stuck them to our circletime area carpet using clear contact paper…

Of course as soon as the children started trickling into the classroom door, they went right over and began to play on the footprints.   This is part of what I want to see as well. I want the game to have an open ended – free play aspect to it so the children can make up their own games throughout the day….

I’d like to tell you that I already know what we are going to play as a group with my story book game mat, but I don’t always know until after I get it all set up and sometimes, not until the children are sitting on the floor with me and it is time to actually play the game…

All I know for sure is that I want the game to be inviting, open ended, related to our story book, and hopefully fun and active for the children too!…

In this case, once I had all the children on the story book game mat, I realized that we wouldn’t be able to do a lot of quick movements because there were so many of us so we played “Pete the Cat” says – kind of like “Simon Says.”…

The children loved it. I tried to keep all the children moving at the same time in different ways like touching their toes, standing on one foot, and turning around.  And in between getting all of the children moving, I also called out individual names for a little color recognition practice by saying things like “Pete the Cat wants Harrison to stand on red shoes!”…

But for most of the day, the children played on the game mat in their own way which is exactly what I hope to see!

Questions you may have

  • I don’t leave the contact paper on the floor (carpet or tile) for too many days because it can leave a sticky residue over time and be very difficult to get up off the carpet or floor.
  • I used clear packing tape to secure the edges of the contact paper at either end of the game mat.

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By |2017-03-30T01:15:01+00:00November 28th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Diane November 28, 2012 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Thanks Deborah, love that idea!
    My class absolutely loves “Pete The Cat”!

  2. maureen November 28, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Love this idea! I was thinking if you wanted to put contact paper on the top and bottom, you could then just attach it to the rug with shipping tape around the edges. Then when you are down, you could remove the shipping tape, and roll up the contact paper to store away for another time with the feet in between the layers. Just a thought!

  3. Mary November 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Great exercise, workout, and therapy. Children love working out, especially movement to music. Thank you for sharing as always. Best,

  4. Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories November 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    I love how the kids were immediately drawn to the shoes to make up their own games.

  5. Jan November 29, 2012 at 6:41 am - Reply

    What about taping down a clear shower curtain/or clear vinyl tablecloth fabric to secure the footprints. That way everything could be re-used.

  6. LaQuetha November 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I can not wait to do this activity with my class!!!

  7. kylie January 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    you could place the contact onto one of those floor protector mats for under computer chairs, it would increase the chances of kids slipping and hurting themselves than your soft carpet but most of the mats have a scrubbed surface to reduce that. I have one from Ikea called Kolon floor protector.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 15, 2013 at 12:26 am - Reply

      Hi Kylie,
      That is a great idea. In our case, the carpet doesn’t slide at all and the children were not having problems with slipping but others might just be having this problem for sure!

      Thanks for the tip!

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