Use blank wooden dice to create storytime magic, where the kids get to make up the story as they go along.
Every Friday for the month of January we had "Crafternoons" for school-aged kids. Each week was a different craft activity, all related to storytelling and literacy. We also incorporated physical literacy by using our fine motor skills to build our creations, and promoted gross motor skills by having the kids act out their stories.
One week we made paper monsters and told stories about them, another week we made clay figures to populate our fantasies, another we me made tiny book necklaces to write our stories down in. We also made some pretty fabulous story dice. Here's how:
The idea came from the book "Show Me a Story" by Emily Neuburger. We bought a few bags of wooden mini-cubes from our local dollar store and some mini-Ziploc bags for the kids to take their blocks home with them. We also bought a few packs of fine-tipped markers. The whole thing cost about $15.
Each child received five blank dice, and each six-sided die had a theme. For example, one die could have six different emotions, another could have six weather descriptions, or six kinds of food, or six places, or six animals, or six kinds of transportation. The possibilities and combinations are only limited by your imagination.
We made simple mini-drawings to represent each element. For example, a sun might mean "the beach," or green grass might mean "the backyard" on a place die. Since we didn't expect the kids to be able to fit an entire landscape on a tiny block of wood, it was a great chance to teach them about metaphor and imagery and substitution.
Once we had our drawings done, we rolled the dice and took turns telling stories that contained the elements that rolled up. Participation in the oral storytelling was optional, of course.
Each child got to take home extra blank dice to make more for their bags. The dice are great for keeping in the car so the passengers can tell stories on long car trips or while waiting for food at a restaurant or at the doctor's office. Oral storytelling and entertainment on the road — no screens or batteries required!