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Storytelling Games that Will Get Your Kids Thinking Creatively

Storytelling Games that Will Get Your Kids Thinking Creatively

As a child, I would always look forward to the holidays.  It was the time of year that I could count on aunts, uncles, and dozens of cousins coming together to enjoy food, love, and laughter.  There would always be little pockets of people around the house telling stories from the past, jokes about a recent encounter, or updating the others on some occurrence.  No matter how many times I would hear a single story, it never got old because the moment it left the speaker’s mouth, we embraced the energy and gave it new life.   My life has been filled with hundreds of these memories.  

Stories are what connect us.  They connect our past with our present and help us make sense of the world.  This is not just important for us, but also for our kids.  Storytelling boosts a child’s cognitive abilities, enhances creativity and oral language skills, as well as social and emotional abilities. 

With many families refraining from travel this holiday season, this is a perfect opportunity to revise some of our most treasured traditions. You can still fill your homes with the joy of stories.   Try some of these storytelling games with your kids to fill the days with creativity, fun, and amazing stories.   

 

Storytelling Games to Make: 

  1. Collect and Build a Story

    Ages: 4+

    Supplies: container, various objects

    This game can be loads of fun.  You can designate one person as the “collector.”  The collector has one minute to fill the container with objects.  On a nice day, you can take little ones outside, and they can fill the container or basket with interesting objects-rocks, leaves, coins, etc.  Each person in the group selects an object from the container and creates a story based on what the collector returns.  This game is fun for kids of all ages.  The younger kids who are still getting the hang of telling a story can have fun hunting and building collections, while the older kids focus on the storytelling.  

  2. Story Stick

    Ages: 4+

    Supplies: long stick (plain or decorated) 

    This game follows a traditional oral storytelling style.  A group gathers in a circle.  The game begins when the person holding the “story stick” starts the story. The stick is then passed to the next person who adds to the story, continuing until each person has added a part to the story. It may be helpful for the adult or an older child to preset the setting, theme, or conflict of the story before starting.  If kids get stuck, it may be helpful to prompt them with, “What did you see? or “And then what happened?”

  3. Folktale Prompts

    Ages: 5+

    Supplies: jar, strips of paper

    In this game, we remix traditional stories.  On strips of paper, you’ll write down traditional tale beginnings such as “once upon a time,” “in a faraway land,” and “long, long, ago.”  Fold them and place them in a jar. Sitting in a circle, one person will draw a slip of paper and use the beginning to start a story.  Each person takes a turn adding to the story.  Older children could be challenged to draw a slip and tell a whole story in a minute or less using the prompt.

  4. Folded Story

    Ages: 6+

    Supplies: paper, pencil/pen

    This is another classic add-on game that brings writing into the mix.  The first in the group writes the beginning of the story and then folds the paper over, so only the last line of their part is showing.  Then each person repeats until the last person in the group creates an ending for the story.  Once completed, the last person unfolds the paper and reads the full story.  Just be ready for the wackiest stories and a ton of laughs.  

     

    Storytelling Games to Buy:

    1. eeBoo Tell Me A Story Cards – Mystery in the Forest

      Ages: 3 -6

      This storytelling game is great for the little ones. The bright-colored pictures come on 36 laminated themed cards (forest, animal village, volcano island, and fairytale.  They show characters, actions, settings, and objects. 

    2. Tall Tales Story Telling Board Game 

      Ages: 4+ 

      Tall Tales Story Telling includes 24 story cards, 50 game pieces, and a story bag. Randomly pick game pieces and an environment and let your imagination run wild.  With 5 ways to play this game, it allows everyone to join in on the fun.  

    3. The Storymatic Kids

      Ages: 5+

      This game is loads of fun.  The basic game is to pick two yellow cards to build the main character and a blue card for a situation.  Storytellers use the cards to create a story, with the only restrictions being that the character remains alive and must change from beginning to end. With 360 cards, there are so many options for this game.   There is also a booklet with game ideas and more story prompts! 

    4. Tattered Tales 
    5. Ages: 10+

      This game is more suitable for older kids.  It requires that you have a team, so you’ll need about 4-12 people for a fun game.  Teams collaborate to create wacky stories! But hurry…you only have two minutes! Use your random items to resolve high-stakes situations. Then share your story with the other teams. After that, everyone gets to vote for the best story. Shuffle the teams and go again, playing as many rounds as you’d like.

       

Kanika Mobley

Hi! I'm Kanika. I'm a mother and 20+ year educator. I started my career as a kindergarten teacher and fell in love with helping kids discover their reading identities. As they asked for certain books, I tried with all my might to keep the classroom library filled with high-engaging books that were both mirrors and windows for their experiences.

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