How to Catch a Star: read and sensory play

Oliver Jeffers is one of our favourite authors. 

He captures the limitless imagination of childhood, while gently pushing his grown up reading audience towards life truths. Truths that kids just seem to "get"; maybe adults have forgotten them ...

We read How to Catch a Star. And then we played it. In a sensory bin. 

How to Catch a Star 
author and illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
publisher: Philomel Books, 2004

the story starts
There once was a boy who loved stars so much that he wished he had one of his very own. Every night he watched the stars in the sky from his bedroom window and dreamed of how he could be their friend and how they could play hide-and-seek together. ... 

The reader enters the world of childhood, and journeys with a boy as he catches a star. 

book love
I love this book because Jeffers captures the limitless magic of childhood imagination - the only reason the boy cannot use his rocket to catch the star is because it ran out of petrol (gas) when he went to the moon last Tuesday. At the same time, he communicates life truths - as one of my k-kids put it, "you can't really catch and own a star, silly" - that most kids "get", but many adults have forgotten.

book fun
A best place to retell How to Catch a Star is in a star sensory bin.

I dyed a couple of bags of tiny star pasta - one bag black, and the other bag I used squirts of turquoise, blue and purple liquid water colour paints. 

Added a bag of small blue marbles (decorative filler) from Michaels

and a bag of star confetti from the dollar store.

All we needed were props from How to Catch a Star. to the rescue.  Under the resources tab, Oliver Jeffers has links to download a number of activities. Two of them are perfect for story retelling props.

Print to the desired size, cut out, laminate (if you wish), and add to the star bin.

Just add children.

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  1. Oh wow! Totally fabulous bin! I want to play in it, it looks so amazing.

  2. I am IN LOVE! Of course, I think I say that about all of your activities. ;)


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