Story cubes should come free with children.

There’s a hot competition on at our house for the title of Best Christmas Present. Gracie wants to award the sash to her spy gear stuff. Bee, so far, hasn’t stopped playing with her Barbies and Polly Pockets (frequently together; I keep waiting for Gulliver to show up). But I think my favorite has to be the Story Cubes.

I shamelessly borrowed this pic from the manufacturer, but since I'm schlepping their product, they can live with it.

If you are a parent and you haven’t heard of story cubes, you pretty much need to stop reading right now, open a tab for Amazon, and buy those guys right this minute. I promise you they are well worth the investment. It’s important I tell you that, because when you see they want to charge just over $7 for 9 dice and an easy open storage box, you might raise an eyebrow. Trust me: it’s worth even the $10 manufacturer’s suggested retail price. You will never spend $10 so wisely.

So here’s how they work: you gather around a flat surface where everyone can see what’s rolled. Someone rolls the dice onto the table, revealing 9 different pictures. In this picture you can see the sheep, the turtle, a book, a speech bubble, an airplane, a question mark, a tent, a fish, and a lightning bolt. Whoever is starting the story choose a die and starts the story: “Once upon a time [this is always how our start], there was a sheep named Moe. And Moe was very sad because….” And then that person points to someone who chooses another die and uses the picture to continue the story.

Simple. Easy. Wildly creative. No batteries needed. And, at our house, full of pee-my-pants, snot-hanging-from-my-nose, crack-a-rib hilarity.

Our stories, as I’ve said, always started with “Once upon a time…” and usually included a princess as the protagonist. The lightning bolt usually meant there was a mean witch who started a storm to scare someone. Jesus was frequently used to move the plot along, or just to be a wandering dude (not even kidding), and we frequently ended up with either the key or the lock, so there was frequently a locked treasure chest, a rainbow granting wishes, or a secret path through a locked closet door. Some of the tropes Auntie Kim and I introduced (the secret world on the other side of the closet door), but some the kids came up with entirely on their own (see: Jesus). My very favorite? Apparently my kids are into amputees. No lie. One story started with Gracie informing us, “Once upon a time, there was a girl with only one hand.” The heck?! Then, a few stories later, Bee jumped on the bandwagon: “Once upon a time, there was a girl with no feet!” Footless girl found the Turtle of Lud, a friendly giant bumblebee who gave her a ride so she could find her feet by flying along the path that appeared on the other side of her locked closet door. Eventually, Jesus sang her a song, she found a rainbow, dodged a lightning bolt from the very! mean! witch! [oh, how dramatically Gracie reveals every phrase coming out of her mouth, like we were middle schoolers telling scary stories in front of a fire], and finally found her feet in a locked treasure chest underneath said rainbow.

Kim and I were laughing so hard, Bee told us we were being “silly stisters.” Yeah, because we’re the one lopping off limbs and body parts from innocent little story victims!

You can see why the story cubes are going with us on every plane ride from now until the end of time. And possibly my digital movie camera, because these are the sorts of things you want on hand when you need to blackmail your children’s future little selves.


Tags: , ,

One Response to “Story cubes should come free with children.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    This sounds fun! I think even the near teen-ager and her friends would have fun with this. I will have to check it out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: