This #sponsored product review was instantly adored as we have our own avid storyteller. This post contains our honest opinion and some affiliate links.
The most simplest things turns out to be some of the most beautiful. Here we have some cards… some very simple Storymaker Create-A-Story cards with some very beautiful and whimsical designs and on the reverse side… just one or two-word descriptions of the illustration. That’s it. Oh but it’s so much more…
In the simplicity of the design and the fact that there are “no rules”, children are free allow their imaginations to wonder and craft their stories. The Storymaker Create-A-Story cards showcase images to include a rainbow, pirate ship, sea monster, monkey forest, and many characters among other places and objects.
Here are our three suggestions for using these Create-A-Story cards to enhance your child’s creativity, storytelling skills and creative writing skills. Of course, the sky is the limit… and don’t be surprised if your little masterminds have an idea of their own too, but here are mine:
- Solo stories. In a small group of 2-4 people (adults and/or children), each participant selects three Create-A-Story cards. Taking volunteers turns, each participants creates and shares aloud a (very) short story using those 3 cards. If a participant struggles, they can trade in one card for a new item or location card. Stories should be kept short to ensure everyone has their turn and if interest still allows, participants can later expand on their story line… with or without adding new cards. (Hint, if “game play” has concluded and participants are no longer interested in extended versions, player can write their full story down. It would be a shame to cut off creativity, so allow children a second option to continue on their own.)
- Story Share. In a small group of 3-10 participants, each player selects a random Create-A-Story card. All participants will create a colorful story with the player holding the card that comes first alphabetically starting the story line. One by one, players continue the story from where the last player ended, incorporating the person, place or item on their card. By example, the story may start with the Black Sand Beach being the letter “b” and the player holding that card would begin a tale, to then pass to the next player in a clockwise motion until all participants have spoken. The story would either end with the last person or each player could take a second card and continue for a second round. (Hint: Each participant shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to share their contribution to keep the flow of the story. Perhaps use a 2 min timer.)
- Story Swap. Similar to the Story Share concept, except written so have paper and pencils available. In a small group of 3-5 participants, each selects 3-5 Create-A-Story cards (depending on the number of participants). Each participant then begins to write a story using ONE of their Create-A-Story cards for inspiration. After a few moments (two to four minutes for writing), each participant passes their story to the person on the left. Then each participants reads the stories to themselves and selects another card from their hand to incorporate into the next paragraph. Again give approx 2-4 minutes for writing and allow increasingly more time for reading the previous contributions. Repeat by handing off the story to the person on the left and continue with another card in their hand. After the final round, each participant should have their original beginning story… with four other paragraphs. For laugh-out-loud fun… take turns reading the stories to the group.
Personally, I can see this as a wonderful Girl Scout activity and can’t wait to try it with my troop. I think it not only encourages creative thinking and storytelling but also public speaking/reading aloud and sequencing skills (option 2 and 3) providing that “what comes next” in the story line. And of course the third option is a sneaky way to get some creative writing accomplished. Either way, it is fun; it is sharing; it is valuable and educational.