About a year ago, a friend gifted my children this set of ‘Story Dice’.
Whilst they’re not technically a book, they’re a great tool for encouraging story telling – either as a group or as a prompt for creative writing. The dice pictured above aren’t official ‘Story Cubes’, but the principal is certainly the same.
The child (or adult!) rolls the dice and has to come up with a story about the things they see. In the image above – for example – I might tell a tale about a duck, who had to deliver a letter through the pouring rain. He might shelter under a flower and notice that the envelope he held was starting to get wet. He feels terrible that he’s ruined the letter but on delivering it to his friend, he discovers that the sender had stuffed it full of ice cream which subsequently melted. To cheer the duck up, his friend takes him out for a burger. The end….
These have been brilliant for camping trips, long car journeys and waiting in restaurants – they take up next to no space in my bag and double up as blocks for stacking for younger children.
You can use them as a memory game (hide them under a napkin, turn the face of one over and have the kids try to figure out which block has been turned) or play “the first to throw a…” and assign a picture, taking it in turns to roll the dice until said picture emerges. My kids particularly enjoy, “the first to throw a duck” because of the images that conjures but there’s also a picture of a poop on one of the faces and that has also been an enormous success.
With a set of branded story cubes costing around £10, they’re not a cheap toy, but it’s easy enough to create something similar with different coloured dice. For example, by writing a key –
Red dice: 1 = bear, 2 = paint pot, 3 = chef’s hat, 4 = train, 5 = sad face, 6 = TV
Green dice: 1 = sea, 2 = viking hat, 3 = parcel, 4 = bus, 5 = scissors, 6 = arrows
Blue Dice: 1 = T-rex, 2 = bed, 3 = pizza, 4 = a magnifying glass, 5 = book, 6 = lips
Obviously these are just examples and you could do various lists to suit each child. You could also use some small, wooden blocks and add a sticker to each face which might be better for pre-readers.
At the moment, these are one of my favourite ‘wordy’ games, which is saying something, because I secretly really love i-spy (I know, I know…). Which are your favourite games which play with words? I’d love to hear them!
— Farn ❤