Santa brought the kids this set of story dice for Christmas, and like most of his stocking gifts (so weird that Santa mostly brings the children educational toys...), I expected that they would mostly be put away in the playroom, and discovered and played with just every now and then. That's where the interactive book on cool things that you can do with mirrors lives, after all, still not played with, and the water clock kit, still not played with.
To my surprise, however, the kids LOVE these story dice! They play with them at least once a week (we have an indulgent amount of playthings for the children, so weekly play is a pretty good record), and even bring them out to play with during playdates, during which it seems that their friends like them, too.
To use the story dice (this may not actually be how you're "supposed" to use the story dice--I've never looked to see if there are any instructions, but this is how the kids have used them from the beginning), you simply roll them--
--and then make up a story that uses each one. Each die has little images engraved onto each side that direct the story, but are quite open to interpretation:
Syd and I played this game recently, on an afternoon that Will spent at the library. Here are some of her stories:
It's been a while since we've carried on with our art lessons, although I do often remind the kids, when we're drawing together, to remember the Drawing With Children shape families and the Drawing with Children rule that we should work with mistakes instead of, as Syd would prefer, crumpling up the paper and throwing a giant fit. But anyway, these dice would also fit well into a Drawing with Children-style study, since the lines are clean and simple: you could take turns rolling the dice one by one, incorporating each into your drawing as it comes.
Ooh, or written storytelling--perhaps you could just roll one or two, and use that as a story starter. Or roll them one at a time after every paragraph, as a "What happens next?" game.
Or gross motor skills, acting, and improv--Charades can be hard for little ones, but these would be a manageable number of prompts to roll from and act out, especially if they're familiar with the dice.
Got any other good games to recommend to us? Summer is birthday season in our family!