WordDoctor
3 years ago5,000+ Views
Storytelling Games to Stimulate Young Minds
One of my favorite parts of being a parent has been observing how my son develops a sense of story and storytelling. He loves narrating his own day or hearing us tell it as a story, as well as making up stories with his character toys or modifying stories he's heard. The ability to tell stories is not only a fantastic way to engage with literature and the arts - it's also a way to exercise young minds and encourage creativity, flexibility, adaptability, making correlations and following a process or plan (among other things). Melissa of Imagination Soup has a great post featuring three storytelling-based games. First, she gives some advice on teaching kids how to tell stories: "When I teach kids how to write stories, we generally start out loud. In other words, we think, plan, and share orally before writing silently. Of course, not all kids are oral processers but sharing out loud helps organize our thoughts and gives us feedback from friends if the story is missing anything or on the right track. Get kids telling stories out loud and it will improve their written stories." I find this especially useful because that means we can teach kids to plot and form a narrative before they can actually "write" a story. Oral storytelling can start very early on and forms the basic structures of our story writing processes. Melissa recommends these 3 games: (1) The Storymatic Kids! She describes the rules: "Pick two yellow cards to make a main character and one blue card that will be in the story somehow. {finicky eater + someone who is lost + spelling bee} The rules? The main character needs change from the beginning of the story to the end and he or she needs to stay alive." There are so many possible combinations that it almost can't help being hilarious, I think. I can't wait to try this one. According to Melissa, there are some other great features: "Storymatic Kids! also comes with a art and game ideas such as using the cards to make a movie poster, draw a comic story, and partner up to tell your story together. It’s my favorite of all these fun storytelling games. Plus, our whole family has fun inventing wacky and wild stories." (2) Rory’s Story Cubes This one seems similar in using combinations of story elements, but it uses a dice-like device to come up with the elements. Here's her description: "Roll the cubes. Tell a story based on the images you roll. Or work with two other players, each taking 3 cubes to create an epic tale. Add or mix in cubes from Rory’s Story Cubes Voyages or Actions for even more possibilities." I think this one sounds like a lot of fun. Melissa said she hadn't gotten into it as much, but I like the idea of using dice and pictures as an alternative to words or phrases. (3) StoryPlay Cards These combine images and words on each card. As Melissa describes: "The illustrations depict people, animals, elements, power, love, journey, skills, creations, nature, food, and symbols. I’ve used these for my writing classes and had kids pick characters, settings, and problems from the different cards. Having the visual cues in the cards helps kids stories make more sense. (One of the biggest issues with beginning writers and storytellers stories is that they don’t make much sense.)" Agreed! So far I can only vouch for my toddler, but sometimes his stories do veer into very unsual territory. Right now I kind of appreciate that, though! It's fun to see where little ones will take a story when they're not limited by conventions or a need to make sense. The cards in this game do look lovely, though - and I see how having both text and image can be helpful for reluctant storytellers. Have you played any of these games? Are there other games you played as a kid that involve telling stories? Do your kiddos tell funny stories? Let's discuss in the comments!
2 comments
I like the tactile approach if using dice to be a creative storyteller. I wish this was around when I was a kid. @worddoctor
3 years ago·Reply
I know, right, @marshalledgar? We just had to settle for our bare naked imaginations... haha
3 years ago·Reply
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