You may have seen the popular Story Cubes game on the shelf at the toy store, or buzzing along in your Pinterest feed, and I’m here to say that if you haven’t played this literacy game, it’s time to correct that oversight and that is why Story Cubes is our Game of the Month.
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We’ve had Rory’s Story Cubes for several years, but it wasn’t until recently that the boys really started playing it. I think how you approach this game depends a lot on the personality of the child. My older son, while he is a great reader did not express much interest in playing the game at first and I think that is because it requires him to use his imagination in a way that was hard for him. He is very systems-oriented. My youngest son, however, took to it right away when I got it out again last month.
Of course, my older son did not want to be outdone and the motivation of seeing his brother “do better” than he was a great motivation! (No need to expound on sibling rivalry here, you get the idea.)
How to play Story Cubes:
Story Cubes consists of 9 dice, each with 6 different instructions. The enclosed instructions offer many ways to use the cubes, from regular game play to overcoming writer’s block. I won’t expound on them all here, but the essence of the game is to roll dice and use the images to spark storytelling, which can be done individually or cooperatively.
Tips for playing with kids:
- Do not judge (neither the kids nor the grown-ups!)
- Do not require consistency of plot, character, etc. Just let things develop!
- I have found the best time to use the cubes is at mealtime. At the end of the day when the boys (and I) are cranky, rolling the dice can get them thinking about something other than wallowing in their grumpiness.
- The compactness makes it a great travel game!
Skills exercised when playing Story Cubes:
- Literacy and storytelling/writing
- Imagination and creativity
Story Cubes is a total brain workout (even for grownups)! Have you ever played it?
There are several versions, but we only have the original: