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At the campfire under the stars or in the living room wrapped up in blankets: Storytelling games are timeless, creative and interactive and inspire young and old.
With the development of language, storytelling also came into the world. Anthropologists assume that even our oldest ancestors, who were gifted with language, told each other stories in prehistoric times. Nowadays, there is something archaic about listening to a live story told together in a group, because there is hardly any opportunity for this in the adult world. Television, computers and entertainment media have replaced storytelling in the evenings by the fireplace – and listening.
Most people satisfy the human need for stories by watching series or films, some also by reading books. And there’s nothing to be said against that at all, they are all wonderful leisure activities.
Tip: Are you looking for special language games that stimulate the imagination? Then you absolutely have to take a look at the quite rightly award-winning Dixit, which immediately thrilled me and all my friends the first time we played it. It’s all about what everyone sees in beautiful, surrealistic pictures. Because a picture is worth a thousand words….
But it is also worthwhile for adults to return to the oral archetype of storytelling, to be creative for once and to create a story together. This is exactly what storytelling games are for, in which not a single narrator invents a story, but a group spins the thread of the tale together.
For children in particular, storytelling games are a special experience because they themselves are involved in the progress of the story and can introduce their own ideas and conceptions into the plot. At the same time, storytelling games are also a good pedagogical method for children to practice and improve their language and expression skills through play. And adults can also have a lot of fun and develop their creative skills. After all, imagination is like a muscle (in this case a mental muscle) that needs to be exercised.
Narrative games are suitable as an activity for a group of children, e.g. at a youth retreat, as a nice family game for parents and children, as well as an idea for a special evening with other adult friends. The atmosphere of the place naturally also contributes a lot to the creativity of the group: Around a campfire in the forest or in the evening on the campground, in front of a fireplace or in a somewhat darkened room, the imagination is fired.
To give the shared storytelling a structure, there are very good storytelling games, of which we present 5 particularly successful ones to you here.
The simplest form of a storytelling game is that everyone in the group takes turns to contribute a sentence to the story and it develops in this way. Depending on the composition of the group and whether the narrators pull together or work towards different outcomes of the story, very exciting and also funny stories can emerge, full of unexpected twists and absurd ideas.
This variation is useful if you are in a flat or a place where there are many interesting or obscure objects, e.g. on a hut in the mountains. In principle, this storytelling game works the same as the first one, except that each player also chooses an object in sight (he can also bring it from another room or get it out of his trouser pocket), which he brings into the storytelling.
The challenge for all players is to tell the story in such a way that all the chosen objects have an important function in it. The more different and unusual the objects are, the more imaginative and crazy the way the players will incorporate them into the narrative.
As a variation on this, each player can also give the next player in the round an object to weave into the narrative.
For this variation, first one of the people present narrates a little longer and describes a starting situation, then the other players have a short time to think about how the story ends and each of them in turn tells their ending. Whoever’s ending of the story pleases the others best gets to start the next storytelling.
Each player writes a term on a slip of paper and folds it up. The slips of paper are collected and shuffled in a basket or bowl and everyone draws one. This term must now be brought into the story.
Everyone thinks up a role for themselves, this can be an imaginary character or a commonly known one, it doesn’t matter. The first narrator of the round begins by introducing himself and describing his starting situation and his first actions, as well as a place or situation where he meets player 2. The latter then continues, also introduces himself and spins the story further until meeting the next character: player 3 etc.
This is how a group of heroes comes together, whereby one player can of course also decide to act as the opponent of the others. An adventure is thus spun together, with everyone narrating what they see, hear and do from their first-person perspective.
There are many more storytelling games, some of them with game materials that can be purchased, such as Story Cubes in which you roll the dice to find the motifs to include in the story. Good storytelling games stimulate the imagination of the participants and ensure exciting interaction between them. All storytelling games have in common that telling, inventing and imagining together provide terrific entertainment regardless of age.
You might also be interested in our other tips for family games. It’s worth a browse on Abenteuer Freundschaft, we have over 500 tips for activities with friends, family and partner. If you like our page, we’d love your Like on Facebook and Instagram. 😉
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