I just awarded  Storymatic Kids with a 2012 PAL Award for its incredibly fun way to learn to tell and write stories!

Originally designed as a writing prompt by a creative writing teacher in Vermont, Storymatic has taken on a life of its own. Fans are using it to inspire many creative endeavors beyond writing including cartooning, music, film and improvisation. Start out choosing two random yellow cards to describe your character and one blue card to get the story going. Our first story cards were “grandpa,” “bookworm,” and “here comes trouble.” Kids took off with a tale about our bookworm grandpa who was getting in trouble for losing his books, while a “mistaken identity” card had him sneaking off to the skate park to stay in shape since he was a skateboard champion. “Recess,” “befriended by a hippo” and “kiss” all had to be associated with the story and woven into the theme. It was fun to see how players differed in how they used the ideas on the cards. It could be a jump from “recess’ to “befriended by a hippo” unless you were my little tester who linked them because the zookeeper visited the school to teach about animals. Kids learn new vocabulary and have to apply it, associate ideas to tell a coherent story, and can collaborate on a storytelling or writing task. Several clever variations are included in the directions that incorporate more players, use gestures and drawings and even design movie posters. Teachers know how to reinforce learning across different mediums that are fun!

Mom saw how much fun we were having and asked me, “Can I have that? Can I buy that? Where did you get that?” I couldn’t give up my Storymatic Kids–it was too much fun.

Ages: 5 and up