Do your kids need a little extra practice with creative story telling? Here’s a game my kids love that helps! We call it The Story Bowl, and it’s really easy to set up and play.
We first played this game several years ago, when the winter temperatures were well below freezing. Since we couldn’t get outside, we spent way too much time watching TV. And I was sick of screens!
So, I asked my oldest daughter to go grab a big bowl. Then I sent the kids on missions to find little things to put in it.
Once our bowl had a nice variety of objects inside, it was time to play! And we’ve been playing ever since. It’s such a fun way to practice our creative story telling skills.
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How to Set Up the Story Bowl
The goal of The Story Bowl is to tell a story using whatever items you draw out of the bowl. To set it up, you’ll need a large bowl and some small objects. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Building blocks in a variety of shapes/sizes
- Lego mini-figures
- Toy animals
- Mini Assorted Vehicles
- A small crown
- Slips of colored paper
Have your kids gather a variety of small objects and put them in the bowl. Once you have several, pick one person to go first.
How to Practice Creative Story Telling with the Story Bowl
The first player closes her eyes and randomly draws five items out of the bowl. Feel free to give it a good shake first to mix everything up!
Once her items are selected, the player’s job is to weave those objects into a story. Allow a few minutes of think time, and then have this person tell their story.
They can either use the objects as actual props, or just tell a story that includes the objects without using them physically. My younger kids typically use them as props, while the older ones don’t.
Once the story is told, the player puts her pieces back into the bowl. Then the next person draws out five objects and tells a story of their own.
Continue taking turns until everyone has told a story or two.
Other Benefits of The Story Bowl
Creative story telling isn’t the only skill your kids practice while playing this game.
They’ll also be practicing:
- Communication skills
- Sequencing and planning
- Creative thinking
- Listening to other people’s story
Here are a few ways to extend the game:
Draw the Story
After the game is over, have your child illustrate his story.
Write it Down
Your child can write down her story so she can remember it! This will help her make the connection between oral stories and written ones.
After each player tells a story, ask someone to retell it. Being able to retell key points of a story is an essential reading skill.
Use Them All
Challenge your child to use all the props to tell a longer story. Can they connect everything?
Play a Card Version
If you enjoy The Story Bowl, consider picking up Tell Me a Story. It’s a creative story telling card game your child can use to inspire stories. We play it a lot!
I like the variety of pictures. Here’s a post explaining variations we use when we play Tell Me a Story.
Will you be playing The Story Bowl soon? I’d love to hear what you’ll be putting inside your bowl. Please share in the comments below.