Summer stories, 2024

stories in school and other excitements

schools, parks, libraries, museums, nature reserves….

hear a story, inspire a wild idea, make a wonderful something

celebrating the richness of the changing year, here are stories, shadow puppets, book building, story-making, pop-up landscapes and boxes of treasures. Outdoors or indoors, the natural world will give us stories and offer inspiration for child-led creativity!

With stories spinning from the first signs of spring through earth giants and thunder-tigers to summer flowers, here are stories and activities to enchant and inspire.

Gordon MacLellan – Creeping Toad – is one of Britain’s leading environmental art and education workers. Take a look at the Toadblog: Creeping Toad

Drawing on 30 years of professional experience, Gordon’s work blends environmental experience with creativity. “Much of my work uses storytelling and story making but I also make small masks, giant masks, flags, lanterns, pop-up landscapes and create wild and wonderful occasions. We might work outdoors and take ideas form the world around us and our discoveries there. Indoors, there may be shadow puppets and boxes of treasures to inspire children and encourage some fabulous stories”

A day’s visit to your school might include:

storytelling performances: lasting up to 60 minutes for up to 90 children at a time

stories out of anything! outdoors or in, we’ll use leaves and pine cones, twigs and stones and shells to inspire words, create poems and shape a set of stories never told before (allow 60 minutes for a class session)

finger puppets: we can make quick finger puppet animals or adventuruers and create instant stories

shadow puppets: playing with light, translucence and animation to create stories and instant performance


From across lands and times: I can select stories to suit times and places: so we have had days of Native American stories, or Egyptian or Greek or Roman, there have been Chinese tales and African animal stories….lots of exciting resources to draw on here, to make new writing vibrant and lively. Castles are popular, too, with boxes of treasures to inspire a new adventure and release a bold princess or courageous dragon

story and book workshops: taking a bit longer (allow 90 minutes for a class) as well as discovering those stories no-one has ever heard before, now we will build those into the books that no-one has ever read before and leave the classroom with a library no-one has ever visited before!

pop-up storyscapes: allow an hour for a class: gathering ideas, images and words we’ll make quick 3-d landscapes holding the essence of a story in a setting, key characters and the words that set the adventure running

tales of old Scotland: a collection of stories of Highland folklore and Scottish histories, of heroes and sorrows, bravery and the magics of sea, mountain and moor. These can be steered in various directions and we might listen to stories from Viking days or medieval and Stuart stories and even add some Scottish explorers and their adventures and disasters…

your own themes and ideas: or are you exploring a particular theme that you would like to involve some stories in? In recent projects, we have also made talking stone puppets, a giant eagle to hang from a classroom ceiling, prehistoric rockpools, a swarm of shadow dragons, pop-up castles

Charges: £280 a day

Fee includes storyteller’s fee, travel and materials. Can be paid on the day or I can invoice you.

Activities can be adapted to suit groups from P1 through to Secondary

For further information: visit the Creeping Toad blog at

To book: contact Gordon directly at

         or by telephone: mobile: 07791 096857

Environmental storytelling, art and celebration – Education, Training & Workshops