Anything, Family

6 Games To Encourage Storytelling

Did you know people have been telling stories for over 30,000 years? And that’s just using visual evidence. It’s amazing to think that all those many, many years ago, parents were still trying to get their kids to bed with a bedtime story. 

If you are looking for a new way to engage with your kids, you may want to incorporate storytelling games. Not only does storytelling through games open up communication, but it also gives you an insight into their imagination, which is sure to be entertaining. Keep reading to find out why storytelling is so important and some storytelling games that are great for all ages.

Why Is Storytelling So Important For Kids?

When you tell stories with your kids, you are opening up their eyes to a whole new world. You can teach them about others and introduce empathy. Even a simple story about a green blob named Bob surrounded by purple blobs can teach them about being different and how to celebrate these differences. 

Storytelling can also hone kids’ creativity and imaginations. Have you ever caught your kids playing with their toys and heard the elaborate fantasy world they have created? It is fascinating! 

When you spend time telling stories together, you can be introduced into their world and be a kid for a little while! While you are enjoying this topsy, turvy world you both can create new storylines together. Telling stories can help improve listening, reading interest, and add new words to their vocabulary.

Why Are Games So Helpful In Storytelling?

If your kids are anything like ours, their attention spans are that of a gnat, at times. Sure, they may ask you to read a book, but three or four pages in they are now crawling around because they saw a puppy in the story. 

When they are little, we have to help them lengthen that attention span and interest, and games can be a great way to do that. There was actually a study that showed that preschoolers who were able to pay attention and finish tasks were more likely to graduate from college. 

Games help stories come alive. With storytelling games, there are no rules, only to have fun and be creative. We know our kids love it when we get really silly and break the “boring” parent mold. 

We also get to see a new side of our kids. Playing games and making up stories give us a chance to see into that beautiful brain of theirs. Let your imaginations go wild! You may just find these games help to increase your imagination and have fun along the way.

Storytelling Games

We know you are busy. Spending a bunch of time prepping a game may not be on the agenda for the day. We have come up with games that you can easily play using only things around the house. 

There are a few that require just a little bit of prep but try those out when you have a bit more time. Don’t forget to include your kids in making the games too! They will love being included in the whole process. 

Grandparents are amazing storytellers, so get them in on the fun, too! With Caribu, they can feel like they are right there with you through video-chat. Also, with the help of some of our engaging games, you can come up with even more silly stories together.

1. Find And Tell

For this game, all you need is something to hold various items and a little kid who likes to collect treasures (we’re guessing you have both). Hand your child a cardboard box, plastic container, a backpack, tote bag, or a plastic bag; really anything will do. 

Then, ask your child to go and find items to put in the container. Now, you may want to set a limit to how many items (bonus math lesson?) because depending on how big the container is, you may end up with 100 different items when 10 would work just fine. 

Now that they are back, and thoroughly excited to tell you about all their prized possessions, use these items to tell a story. You can play this game in a few different ways. 

You could lay out all of the items, and take turns telling stories with them. You could leave them all in the container, and blindly pick an item and use that item to start the story, and then pick another to add on to the story, and keep this going. 

For little ones, they may need extra help. You can start by telling a fun story, but ask them questions about what the characters are like. For example, if you pick up an elephant, you may ask what color it is, what the elephant says, or what its name is. This helps encourage the child to be engaged, even if they don’t have all of the words for a full storyline. 

2. Draw And Pass

If you have a little artist on your hands, this game may be fun for them. All you need to get started is the Caribu app. Start by having everyone draw a picture on the Blank Drawing Sheet in the app. Then, when everyone is finished drawing their pictures, swap them. 

Now, it is time for storytelling. Using your new picture, tell a story about it. The original artist will probably have something to say about this new story, and explain what the drawing was really about. That is okay too! It is fun to hear the difference in creativity a simple drawing can make. 

3. Story Prompt Jar

We love this storytelling game for long car rides. It is as simple as it sounds. Think of fun prompts to a story, and put them in a jar or a plastic container. You can ask your kids to come up with prompts too. 

Once you are finished, have your child pick out a prompt and use it to start telling their story. If your kid is not at reading age, you can either read them the prompts or use pictures and words to help foster early reading skills. 

4. Story Blocks

This one may take a little bit of prep, but not too much. You will need square blocks (think dice, but larger). Then, attach pictures to each of these sides. You can grab some fun pictures from a quick Google search.

They do not have to be over the top. You can make one block or a couple of blocks with one being the “who” block, “what” block, “where” block, and “when” block. Once your block(s) are made, have the kids roll them, and create a story based on what they roll. 

If grandma is joining in through video-chat with Caribu, you can play this game with the memory game or a tile puzzle game. Instead of rolling the blocks, choose a memory game to play. As you find new matches, create a story out of them. 

Everyone will be laughing at the silly ways to make everything connect in a story. If your kids are a little younger, use the tile puzzle game. Grandma can play with your child to figure out the picture. They are finished when they can create a story using the picture. 

5. Puppet Basket

Puppet baskets are a simple way to build stories and play pretend. You probably have random puppets around the house; some may be finger puppets or stuffed puppets. You can also make puppets with your kids using things like an old, clean (… or dirty, no judgment) sock, a paper lunch bag, or a popsicle stick. Whatever puppets you have in your basket, you can set up a puppet stage (back of the couch) and make storytelling come to life. 

6. Story Stick

Even as adults, it’s hard to wait your turn when you have something exciting to say. A story stick can help teach the very important skills of waiting your turn to speak. A story stick can be anything, such as a magic wand, a paper towel roll that has been decorated, or even a ball or stuffed animal. All that matters with this stick is that if you have it in your possession, you may add to the story. If not, no talking! 

In this game, someone starts off a story and then passes the story stick to the next person who will continue on where the story left off. You may need to set a timer for each person if nobody wants to give up the story stick. There is no telling how goofy this story can get, but there are sure to be laughs.

It’s Storytime

Storytelling has been used to engage with others, learn more about different cultures, and teach lessons for thousands of years. We love using games to create new stories with our kids and learn more about them. 

Storytelling can also help with listening skills, increase vocabulary, and create an interest in reading. Using some of these games, or even mixing some of them to create a new game, will help you and your kids connect through storytelling. Kids’ imaginations are wild, so our only warning, get ready to laugh!

Caribu can help you bring storytelling to life with our engaging games and library of stories. 


Storytelling | National Geographic Society

The Power of Storytelling for Young Learners in the ESL Classroom | BridgeUniverse

Preschool children who can pay attention more likely to finish college | Oregon State University