DIY Story Props for Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King

DIY Scary Night Story Props_ My Little Bookcase

For Reading Hour last year, my children and I dressed up and re-enacted a new book we had recently purchased, Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King along with other fantastic read-alouds. After an adventurous and fun-filled night of stories, I tucked my children into bed and realised Australia had its very own version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Once upon a scary night, three friends set out on a journey.

Hare with a hat, Cat with a cake, Pig with a parcel.

Just like We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Scary Night is a wonderfully captivating story for young children. Its clever use of exciting verbs and prepositions makes it wonderful for re-enactment but there are also many opportunities for children to join in with the repetitive phrases and SCREAMS as three likeable characters wander through the night to a secret destination!

But where were they going in the dead of the night, tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight?

It was a mystery!

Given how much my children have enjoyed the story and our re-enactments, I’m not surprised this book has been shortlisted for the 2015 Early Childhood Book of the Year. I hope this becomes a book that you can find in every Australian home, kindergarten, preschool, early learning centre and classroom.

Over hill and over dale, through the woods and down the trail.

Across the creek, watch your paws, crocodiles have snapping jaws!

Using standard supplies, I’ve got some ideas to help you make simple costumes and props for re-enacting Scary Night. Make them to use during Book Week 2015 or enjoy the story for many years to come. With the help of an adult, these props are definitely easy enough to be made by young children!

Were they scared? You bet they were!

Did they shake? You bet they did!

Did they give up? Of course they didn’t!

scary night characters_My Little Bookcase

On they went.

Hare with a hat, Cat with a cake, Pig with a parcel.


Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael KingScary Night

Author: Lesley Gibbes

Illustrator: Stephen Michael King

Publisher: Working Title Press, 2014

RRP: $24.99  Available through The Kids’ Bookshop


Have fun with your little people preparing, creating and using your Scary Night props with these simple instructions.


DIY Hare with a Hat_My Little Bookcase

You will need:

  • Blue or purple cardboard party hat
  • Purple or blue sticky-backed felt stars
  • Brown cardstock
  • Split pins (optional)

1. Decorate your party hat with star-shaped stickers.

2. Cut ears out of the brown cardstock and attach them to the hat with split pins (the split pins allow you to lift Hare’s ears when he is scared or surprised. Otherwise the ears can simply be stapled to the hat).


DIY Cat with a Cake_ My Little Bookcase

You will need:

  • 1  egg carton cup
  • Black Paint
  • 6 short, black pipe cleaners
  • Elastic
  • Purple (or black) cardstock
  • Household sponges
  • Glue
  • White paint or felt
  • Glitter
  • Pom poms

1. Paint the egg carton cup black and stick the pipe cleaners to the inside of the cup to look like whiskers. Then make holes in each side of the egg carton cup before threading and tying the elastic to create a cat’s nose and whiskers.

2. Cut two cat’s ears from the purple cardstock and staple them to the front of a purple cardstock headband (Measure around your child’s head before stapling/securing the band).

3. Turn your household sponges into a cake and decorate with glitter and pom poms using these Easy Peasy Glitter Sponge Cake instructions from Kate Grono of The Craft Train.


DIY Pig with a Parcel Costume_My Little Bookcase

You will need:

  • 1 egg carton cup
  • Pink paint
  • Elastic
  • Pink cardstock
  • A box (if you don’t already have a box available simply wrap a cube shaped item in wrapping paper)

1. Paint the egg carton cup pink and draw two nostrils on the front before threading and tying the elastic to it.

2. Cut two pig’s ears from the pink card stock and staple them to a pink-cardboard headband (measure your child’s head before stapling/securing the band in place).

pig, cat and hare_ My Little Bookcase

Feel free to use these ear templates as a guide for your animal headbands. Simply download and print the templates then trace onto the coloured cardstock.

SCARY NIGHT CHARACTER EARS_Template at My Little Bookcase


Once you’ve prepared your props, set up an obstacle course to represent these parts of the story

  • Over hill and over dale
  • Through the woods and down the trail
  • Across the creek
  • Past the cool and rocky cave
  • Climb the mountain
  • Along the path and up the stairs

And don’t forget to finish your re-enactment with some party poppers and cake!

scary night obstacle course_My Little Bookcase

And hold onto your props (maybe in a story basket) because I can guarantee your kids will want to re-enact this story over and over again!

scary night story basket_My Little Bookcase

Like this post? You might also like our other Book Week ideas.

Light and Shadow Story Play. Books Light Up Our World_175 scavenger hunt and camera_175

Stay connected:

Be sure to join one of our communities for more literacy-based inspiration, or subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on future posts.

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

DIY Story Props for Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King

  1. This looks so fun! I’ve not seen this book before but it’s sounds great – Going on a Bear Hunt is a real favourite around here so this would be a winner for sure!

Leave a Reply