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Friday, November 18, 2011

Tell a story, mama! (Story Dice)

Today at work I sat in on web-based training, facilitated by the American Association of State and Local History, about storytelling. Although it was directed to those of us who work in historic places, it made me think of my efforts to begin a tradition of storytelling, both fiction and nonfiction, in my own family.

My sons, and myself for that matter, are almost always ready to hear a good story and are thrilled with the adventures found at
Sparkle Stories, which are great for long car rides. For shorter stories, we turn to Usborne's Farmyard Tales.

In a
previous post, I wrote about using moving pictures as visual aids in tellng stories. This summer while sitting around a campfire, I found that my boys want to hear a story and help create the story itself. My oldest is learning that there is a beginning, middle, and end to each story and I am working on being more observant so I can add more "color" to my stories. Sometimes this just involves stopping to simply feel, hear and see my surroundings and take it all in so I can use it in a story that my children can get lost in.

To help them get involved in the storytelling, I make story dice. I begin the story, setting up the plot then the children roll the dice and I change the story according to what the roll brings, or they take over the story. Story dice are great inspiration when I find myself searching for direction on spontaneous stories.

Want to make your own story dice? It is a simple project that can encourage hours of storytelling fun.

First, find several wood blocks. (I found 5 to be a good number that is not overwelming for the storyteller.) If your child already has a wood block set, just use some of the small square ones or you can purchase them at a craft store. Since little hands will be playing with them, use sandpaper to smooth out rough edges or possible splinters.

Next, list one theme for each block and 6 subthemes to decorate your blocks:

Here are some ideas:

Weather: sun, rain, rainbow, clouds, moon, wind (a cloud blowing swirls)

Landscapes: mountain, cave, pond, rainbow, forest, flower field

Animals: bird, deer, dog, cat, bear, rabbit

People: boy, girl, adult man, adult woman, fairy, gnome

Fairy Tales: castle, prince, princess, unicorn, knight, dragon

Transportation: car, boat, train, hot air baloon, bicycle, horse

Structures: barn, highrise building, bridge, famous landmark, tent, house

There are several ways to put the image on the dice. I drew mine with colored pencils, but you can also use stamps, rub-on transfers, or stickers.

Now, off to spin a good story...


  1. In our family are great story tellers, maybe not met to be structured stories, but just spur of the moment stories. The older I get the more I enjoy how an item or words spark a memory that turns into a story. Your dad had stories for all aspects of his life. I am glad you remember so many. Keep telling those stories. love you mom

  2. Love this idea! Found you on the Small Things linky party. Going to pin this for sure. I'm your newest follower. :) Jessica http://cutesycrafts.blogspot.com/

  3. Thanks for sharing this oldie but a goodie! I am so excited to be featuring it this week! Come check it out, grab a button and share some of your other older gems!


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