Storybook Manipulatives Hack

I love using storybook manipulatives to help bring a story to life, but buying them already made can be really pricey and creating your own can take Here’s a quick and easy hack that solves the problem.

I bought doubles of classic fairytale board books at my local Dollar Store (yes, you need doubles, but they’re a DOLLAR). Next, take a deep breath because we are going to deface books. Using regular scissors, cut out the primary picture on each page (you need double copies of the book so you can get both the image on the front and back).

Add a magnet to the back of each and—voila! You have sturdy, storybook manipulatives in a jiffy! I use business card magnets because they are super flat and stick well. You can easily cut them to a smaller size. I use these manipulatives to work on story sequencing and retelling and stick them on cookie sheets or the metal cabinet in my room.

You could haunt Goodwill for relatively intact copies of other board books like “Dear Zoo” or “Where’s Spot” or try a cheap resource online. The nice thing about some of those classics is that the image you “need” is always on the right-hand page which means you only need one copy. Beware of books like the lovely ones from Eric Carle. As fabulous as they are, the elaborate collages that cover the entire two pages means you can’t really get a good image (the middle seam is in the way).

Is this a tip you might try? Let me know below!



This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sue

    Excellent. I am glad you sent this since I am not using social media much anymore. I love this idea.

    1. admin

      But you need to get on IG today! I have a Braidy give away!

  2. Annette Macher

    Great idea! Thanks.

  3. Natalie

    I use my color copier to make manipulatives. I attach popsicle sticks to the character pictures and the kids act out the story.

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.