Story Bag - The Joy Journal by Laura Brand

Published by : Claire

What you will need

Small bag/piece of cloth

Engaged for

10–15 minutes pre-bed time.

Potential for mess


Parental enjoyment

This can be a wonderfully bonding activity. Understandably it’s harder when you are managing two (or more) children of different ages at bedtime. Laura says... "this works best when our littlest is already asleep and when we can focus on Mabel's cosy bedtime routine".

The good stuff



By the time it hits 7pm I am usually knackered and want to lie down on my bed, fully clothed, and go to sleep immediately . . . HOWEVER, our daughter’s bedtime routines can vary in length and time so even a glimpse of a 7pm relaxation time for me is a thing of the bygone era. Thankfully, my husband’s unbounded energy carries us through the majority of bathtimes and bedtime stories, but on the nights when it’s just me and when none of the usual books are quite cutting it, I have to delve into my imagination and attempt to pull out something magical and captivating (Mabel can be a harsh critic!).

I had the idea, much like a dinner party game, to write words, sentences and names on pieces of paper and put them into a little cloth bag. As part of the wind-down, PJs and bedtime settling routine, we pick out three pieces of paper together and, using these as the three main points to the narrative, we string together our bedtime story. I promise you, minimal delving is required for the tired mind. If you write these when you are feeling like your creativity is flowing, it will make for a MUCH better and more interesting journey into the land of nod.

‘Peggy was holding a magic box and it was shimmering bright purple . . .’

This activity is from The Joy Journal for Magical Everyday Play

The Joy Journal - Laura Brand

pea journal