Story Making Games

3 fun story making games

One of the best parts of storytelling with children are the story making games I get to play with them afterwards.  This week I was storytelling at the Art House Crouch End and my theme for the week has been the ‘Arabian Nights’.

Wendy telling Arabian Nights stories
Wendy telling the tale of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves at the Art House Crouch End

After sharing the legend of Scheherazade and the 1001 Nights, I told everyone tales of ‘The Fisherman and the Genie’ and ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’.  It’s so much fun being able to retell a tale in my own words.  Children get to learn first hand that even if they’ve heard a story before, the storyteller’s version is always going to be different and unique for them!

1) Story making game: In the hot seat

With sultan, genie and sorcerer costumes and Arabian music we all shaped the story together.  Next came a game that I call ‘In the hot seat’.  This is a game which allows children to use their imagination and develop a character in a fun way.  Here’s how you play it:

  • Choose a character from the story you’ve all just heard
  • Someone volunteers to be that character and sits in ‘the hot seat’
  • Everyone else gets to take turns and ask that character a question about themselves or a part of the story.
  • The person in the ‘hot seat’ uses their imagination and makes up an answer to the question.  They must answer in the first person as that character.

2) Story making game: If  I was a Genie…

This game is loved by everyone – adults included!  We all know that a Genie grants wishes so this storytelling game is very simple and lots of fun. You ask everyone what they would wish for if they were granted a wish by a Genie.  Here are a few of the imaginative answers I was told today by a group of 6 – 10 year olds:

I would wish for a pony named Jack – Elsie, aged 6

I would wish for the power to CRUSH the world and I would watch from outer space – Luka, aged 6

I would wish for the entire world to made of sweets and chocolate – Jemma, aged 7

I would wish for all of the boring school lessons to disappear – Theo, aged 7

I would wish for 1000 more wishes – Alexi, aged 9

I would wish that I could fly – Jack, aged 7

I would wish that I would never fall over or hurt myself again – Sonny, aged 8

I would wish for everyone in the world to be happy – Constance, aged 8

3) Story making game: What’s your ending?

We played this game after I told the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.  Everyone was given a Story Boat template which was designed for them to draw or write their ending of the story.

Children could dream up their own way of getting rid of the forty thieves or how they’d end the story with the final celebratory scene.  Here are a few of the imaginative ways they would kill off the thieves:

  1. Sprinkle magic dust which makes them disintegrate
  2. Drive over them with a Lamborghini V364
  3. Peel their skin and chop their heads off
  4. Roll them down a large hill in their jars
  5. Bury them in the garden
  6. Tell them off and make sure they don’t return
  7. Tell them never to come back
  8. Shoot them with a machine gun
  9. Tie them up with rope
  10. Call the Police
  11. Put them in jail
  12. Use a spell and wish them away
  13. Make them promise to be good
  14. Tell their mums
  15. Lock them up
  16. Give back their treasure
  17. Set your dog on them
  18. Do a scary dance to frighten them
  19. Make them faint and then they die
  20. Whack them on the head with a hammer
Wendy Shearer storytelling the Arabian Nights
Wendy telling the tale of the Fisherman and the Genie at the Art House Crouch End


How YOU would get rid of the 40 thieves!

Before re-writing my version of ‘Ali Baba and the 40 thieves’ I asked a few friends for inspiration how they would get rid of the thieves and here are their replies:

  • They could float away in hot air balloons….
  • By a (minecraft) Creeper
  • Downsized by a corporate raider?
  • They could vanish through some sort of magic…or Disney seem to use accidentally falling off cliffs quite a lot.
  • Make them disappear in a cloud of fairy dust, have them fall down a hole or stuck in a tailback on the M25
  • Restructure. 90 day consultation too. Give the genie a Trades Union background. We’ve all been there…
  • make them eat so much they fall asleep
  • They don’t trust each other with their gold, start guarding it day & night, stop eating, sleeping & just fritter away? Or a nasty case of dysentery spreads through the group off a batch of bad stolen olives.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these 3 story making games.  If you try any out, let me know what great answers you get back! If you’d like to know where I’ll be storytelling next, please sign up for the events newsletter.