Storytelling and Storybags

Mike shares his techniques on using story bags for telling stories to children. With his trusted helper the little soft mouse, he takes us on an entertaining journey through songs and stories. In this video Mike says 'you will get something in the post', this refers to the live project that ran in Nov 2020, where participants were send two story props, a story bag and a mouse. You can make your own by following the guides below.

To turn on English subtitles click the ‘subtitle’ button on YouTube clip.


Story Props

Our step-by-step story prop guides are all about reusing and recycling materials you have at home. To accompany Mike's video the craft activities include making a storybag from a cotton shopping bag and mouse from a sock.

The guides can be viewed and downloaded by selecting the image or  button below.

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”

Eudora Welty, writer, novelist and photographer

Learn more ...

This  collection of links will take you to articles and interviews about the benefits of storytelling in early years from perspective of storytellers, parents and researchers.

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'All about Storytelling'

In this article from EYFS best practice Nursery World. Storyteller Mary Medlicott explores the benefits of storytelling and discusses practical ideas to help you tell stories to very young children.

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'Why is Storytelling important for children?'

This BBC article and short documentary explore the importance of storytelling in developing literacy and how storytelling can help shape young children's worlds.


Shukalaka Shake

You can find the song Mike sings in the film in this fantastic book of songs by Anne Johnson and Michele Chowrimooto. There are 24 songs celebrating words, sounds and melody.

Artist Biography

Mike Payton is a professional storyteller with over twenty years of experience in the field of education, working with nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities around the UK. He has co-run the popular Nottingham storytelling club Beeston Tales for the past seven years and has performed at a wide range of festivals, museums, and galleries, from Mexican tales at The British Museum to Robin Hood stories in our own Sherwood Forest. Whilst Mike tells stories to all ages, he has a special interest in working with the very young, and is passionate about the power of stories to aid children’s development in a wide range of ways – and also to bring magic into their lives. For the past three years, he has worked with the University of Nottingham’s PGCE department, helping their trainee teachers to bring storytelling into the classroom.