Ever play one of those story-making games with you kids? You know, the ones where you take turns drawing a card with a random picture or word on it? Each person has to use what’s on the card they drew to add onto the story. It can get pretty silly. We have a couple versions at our house, and the kids really enjoy them. We giggle lots when we play.
A couple weeks ago I gave my boys cameras to use, and let them go wild taking photos that we could make into our own, personalized storytelling game. I had to give them ideas of what kinds of things to photograph to get them going. The photos we ended up with were still rather interesting, but the whole point was that it was their personal game, so I tried to stay pretty hands-off with their photo taking. And honestly, the sillier the pictures, the more fun the game is.
I printed the photos at our local drug store and the boys were so excited to give our version a try! We didn’t mount our photographs on paper or label then or anything (I’m lazy), but you could, of course. We just used the photos themselves as the cards. We put them in a pile face down and took turns drawing. There was lots of laughing, and we ended up with a pretty crazy story.
You could vary the game some different ways:
Give the kids a specific theme of items to photograph for the game – items for every letter of the alphabet or something like that.
You could give them some guidance in what they photograph by sending them on a list with specifics on a variety of objects you want them to find and photograph, kind of like a scavenger hunt (something fuzzy, something bigger than yourself, something that makes noise, etc). It would be fun to see how the items compare to one another if you have more than one child photographing.
If there are two children playing, you could have them take their photos separate from one another and let them be surprised by what the other end up taking photos of. Let the photos be revealed to each other as they play the game!
Adding labels to your homemade photos/cards would add literacy value to your game. Or if you want your kids to practice reading some specific words, you could put some text only cards in your deck with those words on it, and using those words in this fun storytelling game might help your child become more familiar with the word and more fluent in reading it. Your child’s spelling words might work well too (obviously, nouns are the kind of words that work best in this game)!
Remember, narrative skills are a key pre-reading skill needed to move into being a successful reader. This game is a great narrative skill builder!
Try it out. Play it with friends, play it at dinner… Laughing together bonds people together. So what could be better than giggling together and having fun over some great, meaningful literacy practice?