Games to build kids'creativity

Two games that make children think for themselves

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 October, 2015, 10:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 October, 2015, 10:00pm


Play is supposed to be fun, right? But these days, there are a lot of toys and games that take away some (or most) of the fun by having so many elaborate rules that any hope of creativity is stifled. At the same time, having no rules at all can be so overwhelming that it's impossible to start. The best games - the ones you want to play over and over - include some basic rules but also give the players plenty of space to improvise. We take a look at several family games that do exactly that: give you some guidelines but then get out of the way and let you do things your own way.

How to Tell a Story (book by Daniel Nayeri)

The best stories are the ones that have a basic structure and some familiar elements, such as action, conflict and the characters' motivation. How to Tell a Story is like a creative writing workshop in a box. The 140-plus-page book includes some excellent insights into how to write (or just tell) a story. But the best part is the 20 story blocks, which have unique illustrations on each side. They fall into six colour-coded categories: red (people or animals), blue (things), orange (places), yellow (descriptions or emotions), green (actions), and purple (relationships). The idea is to roll the blocks like dice and use what's on each face to create your stories. You can make up your own or follow some of the prompts the author provides: "I found it," said the (person or animal), lifting the (thing) into the air. A wonderful way to stimulate creativity while learning how to be a better storyteller. For ages three and up.

Dohdles (Kosmos)

The goal of Dohdles is for players to be the first to move their pawn from a starting space to an ending space. Players use modelling dough to create a small sculpture that other players will have to identify (the word dohdle, by the way, combines the words dough and riddle). The trick is to make your dohdles hard to guess. The sculptor (called Dohdle Master) can score points when opponents guess correctly. Comes with plenty of modelling dough and takes about 40 minutes to play. For three to six players, aged 10 and up.

Tribune News Service