Tell Me a Story blocks are just simple wooden cubes painted with pictures on the sides. Young children can roll them like dice and tell you a story using the random pictures that end up on top. Older children can write out their stories for practice with handwriting, sentence structure, paragraph building, story construction (with a clear beginning, middle and conclusion) and so much more! With the older kids, you get a nice bonus — a story for you to keep.
To make your own set of blocks, you’ll need some plain wooden blocks (available at most craft stores), some fine sandpaper, varnish and paint or paint pens. First, lightly sand the blocks to remove any rough spots, then sand down the corners a little more if these will be used by young children. Wipe the blocks down well to remove the sawdust, then apply a coat of varnish to seal the blocks and help keep the paint from bleeding. Then paint simple pictures on each side of the cubes and cover with a few more coats of varnish.
Try to let the kids decide for themselves what each picture shows. For instance, I see a red mitten where someone else might see an oven mitt, a boxing glove or even a rooster’s comb.
Tell Me a Story blocks are a great way to encourage creative writing and story telling. Maybe when your child outgrows the picture blocks you could make a new, larger set with vocabulary words.