Caw Caw! Welcome back to all you Crafty Craw readers!
And anyone visiting from GoodyBlog, too!
I first saw these on Etsy--that perennial fount of fabulous ideas. If you're not inclined to make something like this yourself I encourage you to check out Mamaroots. Her's are hand stamped and really gorgeous. I would have liked mine to have that same simple, graphic style and not be so cutsy & cartoonish but that's just how I draw.
I bought the 1 1/4 inch cubes from Casey's Wood (25 cents each) but I'm sure they're available at any craft supply store. I sanded the corners a bit and painted with acrylics. You could also use rubber stamps like Mamaroots. In fact, you could even glue on magazine cutouts or stickers if you don't draw. Once the paint dried, I rubbed in some natural bees wax to seal them and make them look nice.
I sewed up a simple drawstring bag to keep the story dice in and we'll be breaking them out at restaurants on the road trip as a way to occupy Huck while we wait for food.
You can play with as many or as few dice as you want and with as many players as you want. I did 3 with the idea that we'll each (me, Stephen & Huck) have our own die.
Here's the basic game: You roll the story dice one at a time. The first person to roll starts a story based on the first thing to come up.
Once upon a time there was a little house mouse. Her name was Petunia and she suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It seemed that no matter what she did she just couldn't shake an abiding feeling that spring would never come.
It's the group's decision (or the tyrannical preschooler--whichever you prefer) as to when the next person takes a turn and rolls. Then they continue by adding in whatever they rolled to the story.
She got her hair done and she bought some new shoes but nothing seemed to make her feel better. One day she found a great big cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles and everything! She thought to herself, "Surely this will make me feel better!" and she gobbled up the whole thing. Even the crumbs. But after a brief sugar high, she found that she was just as blue as before. Perhaps even more.
Then the next person rolls and you just keep on going round and round like this until someone decides it's time to end the story, or the quesadillas get there, whichever comes first.
So Petunia finally decided that if spring wouldn't come to her, she would go to spring. She started digging through all her belonging (she was a bit of a pack rat) and finally found what she needed. A beach ball. She grabbed the beach ball, the sunscreen, and her new spring shoes, loaded up all her little mice and headed to East Hampton. Even though it was still a little chilly there, it's better than 10 below and snowing. The end.
I aimed for a good variety of potential characters, vehicles, places and objects to build stories around and mainly tried to stick with simple shapes I knew I could freehand. A boy, a girl, frog, butterfly, rabbit & mouse. A car, boat & bike. A tree, a house and a river. A beach ball, cupcake, teacup, hat and an egg. I also did a question mark on one side. I mainly did this because I ran out of ideas but I actually do think it'll be a fun roll.
This is a great game for introducing young children to storytelling but I think it can be used by older kids, too. I can imagine that with older kids you'll be rolling less to keep the story going, you know? I also think you could adapt this game to holidays or seasons. Halloween dice with bats and witches and haunted houses would be very fun. So would Christmas dice with elves, wrapped presents and candy canes and such. In fact, mine are a big springy so maybe this will be the first in a series. You never know.
This game has so much going for it. It encourages creativity. It's easy, cheap and handmade. It's not messy or loud and it doesn't have lots of pieces to lose. It's also compact. It's the perfect toy to keep in your car, your purse or your child's backpack. It's easy to take out and to keep up with at restaurants or even out shopping--two kids can play this anywhere. It would also make a wonderful gift, stocking stuffer or addition to a goodie bag. It's really got it all.
Now, after all that hype, I sure hope Huck likes it in action as much as I like it in theory. I'll let you know!
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