Storymatic KIDS presents a forum for engaging children in lively story-telling. It’s old-fashioned fun that promotes verbal and social skills often lacking in technology fixated youngsters.
There are 360 cards in the deck: yellow character cards; blue cards which feature props or locations, as well as some intriguing story problems; some WILD CARDS; and 10 blanks of each color so you can make your own additions to the deck.
- Sample yellow cards: princess, dog catcher, someone nobody will believe, someone learning to train unicorns.
- Sample blue cards: scarecrow, shrinking machine, the sneeze that changed everything, where is everyone?
- Sample Wild Cards: Tell your story in an accent; Tell your story as a letter (“Dear Grandma…”); Make all your characters animals.
The basic way to play is to draw 2 yellow cards and 1 blue card and to tell a story incorporating those elements. There are only 2 rules: (1) The main character should change in some way from the beginning of the story to the end. (2) The main character has to stay alive.
Most of the online reviews are from a parent (usually a dad) who has his kids pick cards that anchor the bedtime story he tells. Writing teachers have written about using cards as story starters (there are so many ways to go with “should have followed the instructions,” for example.) Other teachers have used the cards as catalysts for small skits. The variation I find most intriguing is where an original scene has to be shown and narrated in half the time, and then again in half that time. I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems like a concrete way of helping kids see that not all ideas are of equal importance. They have to determine which ones they’re going to cut out in the shortened version. That ability to prioritize is what leads one to be a proficient summarizer. For a sillier, party-game version, the story-telling passes to new players who twist the plot to accommodate their own Storymatic cards.