Story bags

What is in a story bag?

It contains a book and related activities that link to the galleries.

  • Each story bag contains
    • The book
    • A soft-toy 'story buddy'
    • Reading comprehension dice (2 giant dice to roll to find a reading comprehension question to answer)
    • Phonics activity (for phases 2, 3 and 5; older age groups may wish to skip this activity)
  • Each story bag is linked to a particular topic or gallery, e.g. habitat loss, Ancient Egypt, plastic pollution or managing emotions.
  • We recommend around 30 minutes for a story bag, but the exact length of time will vary across different groups.
  • A great option if story time is an important part of your routine at school, that you want to replicate during your museum visit. Also a great opportunity to promote a love for reading beyond the classroom.

What story bags are available?

This is our current story bag range:

  • Mystery of the Sphinx - A story bag for Ancient Egypt - use in or near the Ancient Egypt gallery.
  • The Journey Home - A story bag for deforestation and habitat loss - use in the Living Planet gallery.
  • Somebody Swallowed Stanley - A story bag for understanding plastic pollution - use in the Living Planet gallery.
  • How Many Legs - A story bag for numeracy and animals - use in the Natural Northumbria and Living Planet galleries.
  • Gretel the Wonder Mammoth - A social story about tackling anxiety - use in the Ice Age to Iron Age gallery.

How do we book a story bag for our school or group?

Please book your story bag in advance as we only have one of each.

  • If you have not yet made a booking, please request the story bag when you book your trip. 
  • If you have already made your booking but want to add a story bag, please email
  • If you ask for a story bag when you arrive, we will do our best to help you, but it may be unavailable if already booked by another school or group.

Where can we use the story bags?

We recommend using them in the gallery, or galleries, that link to the topic. 

For example, habitat loss across the Natural Northumbria and Living Planet galleries. When you arrive for your visit, staff will assist you in identifying a suitable space for reading the story. 

Please avoid blocking fire exits or the main routes around the galleries, so the public can enjoy the museum too. If you aren't sure, please ask.

How can we give feedback on the story bags?

Feel free to let us know when you visit. You can also email us afterwards, via

Can I see more information?

See below for the story bags we have available.

Where available, you can download more information. Please note, newly created story bags may not have a downloadable guide yet. Please ask if you need more information about these.

Image of an open book with sparkles coming out of it

Mystery of the Sphinx

Ancient Egypt gallery.