When I was a kid, my mom used to drag her typewriter into my room and ask me to tell her a story while she madly typed it out, trying to capture every insane word. She would then have me draw a picture to put on the cover of my “book,” and she would make copies and proudly mail them to family near and far. That was her way of teaching me that creativity matters, even (especially) when you’re four years old.
So when I got to the part of the 2009 film Where the Wild Things Are when the mom character is stealing a page from my mom’s book and typing out a story as Max tells it to her, my adult self just lost it. Add that to the fact that Where the Wild Things Are was read in my home as I was growing up hundreds of times, and you can see why my nostalgia attack was crippling.
This made me wonder what creative craziness my mom and I could have rustled up if we had something like Rory’s Story Cubes. This handful of 9 dice contains a total of 54 images that kids can roll to grab some inspiration. The dice can become a party game where players make and vote on stories, or can be a way to challenge kids to integrate different things into the stories they tell. There are as many different ways to play with Story Cubes as there are possible combinations of images. While anyone old enough to tell a story can use these, it’s recommended for ages five and up.
Since the original came out, Gamewright has released a few different versions (or expansions) of the addictive story-telling game. With Rory’s Story Cubes “Actions,” the dice have verbs instead of nouns, so you can add them to your original set or use them on their own to help kids spice up, jump start, or add a challenge to their stories. Another “expansion” set (that can also be used on its own) is Rory’s Story Cubes “Voyages,” which contain pictures of things that will add a little “epic adventure” to stories with images like pirate treasure, dinosaur bones, monkeys or jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Here’s a review of the game for kids by a kid. I highly recommend reading Where the Wild Things Are and then letting kids roll away on the dice while you try your best to capture their musings.