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Story based Experience: Sea life

What you need

  • A story book all about the sea or the ocean; we highly recommend ‘Commotion in the ocean’  by Giles Andreae or ‘Barry the fish with fingers’ by Sue Hendra
  • Sea life toys and/or objects from around the house
  • A box or basket
  • Paper and pens (optional)


Engagement in a story with the opportunity to join in with repeated refrains and anticipating key events and/or phrases.

The experience

Find a quiet comfortable space to sit or lie down in, then invite your child to come and share the book with you. Introduce the book by looking only at the front cover! Ask what the book might be about, you can make silly suggestions of your own, and why it might or might not be about the topic suggested. 

Encourage your child to help you turn the pages – talk about what they see on each page and ask what they think might be on the next page. Create some suspense by peeping at the next page first, and gasping! Ask your child to help you by joining in with the repeated refrains – stop and let them say it on their own. Point out the letters from your child’s name or even your own, and look for words that start with the same letter. Make the sound that the letter makes when you say it. 

Share the same book at different points during the day, and over the course of a week or a month. Sharing a familiar book helps children with both language acquisition and comprehension skills. Have a go at retelling the story without the book. Why not make a ‘story box’ to help you. See if you have anything that resembles any of the characters around the house (a teddy fish or a rubber shark). If not, you could draw them together instead! Put the characters in a box or basket and pull them out when it’s their turn to take part in the story – just use the repeated refrains and move around to make the story come to life. Most importantly, have fun!