Lately, I have been thinking about story telling and how it seems to be the gateway to highly imaginative and intricate play. I watch Chick create fantasy worlds where nothing but torn pieces of paper become the characters from the last play she saw or a chapter from a book, and it helps me to remember the stories that were in my mind when I was little. The big family joke is that my favorite toys were the tiny ballerinas that were poised on top of one of my birthday cakes. They were made of thin, cheap plastic, and the paint was chipping away from the moment I first saw them, but I really did love them more than most of the bought toys in our home. We rinsed them, and for years they told stories as they danced across my family’s globe visiting stages and homes in every country imaginable. For some reason, I chose them to be my imaginary guides, and, to this day, when I see them, they remind me of travel to far away lands. They were the inspiration behind the mouse story stones, which then got me thinking even more about story starters. I created this little game that is intended to create dialogue and story with little ones and their friends and, hopefully, with their grown-ups as well.
I painted the wooden pieces with non-toxic paint and then used stamps and a sharpie to create the images. All of the pictures, aside from the cat, are my own hand carved stamps and drawings. The idea is that you flip the pieces over so that the images are hidden and then you take turns adding each element or character into the story. Different minds will interpret and incorporate each image differently, which is what makes the game fun.