Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Story Speller

Story Speller

Fall 2011 Games
Ages: 5 & Up
Manufacturer: Think-a-lot Toys
Price: $14.99

Story Speller is a game that is both fun and educational. Players try to create a story by using the picture cards that are included. Each player gets a story board, and they fill their story board in with picture cards from different categories (including friend and foes, places, treasures, objects and obstacles, vehicles, and actions). Once the story board is completed, each player makes up a story using his or her cards. The game was very entertaining, though some elements of the directions might incentivize rushed play. This is because players choose the hero of their story as soon as they've filled a story card. Without taking their time, players may miss out on cards that would have been better for their story line. This happened while we were playing a few times with kids ranging in ages from six through ten. We modified the instructions so that all heroes were available to all players. The person who was ready to tell her story picked the hero she wanted and told her story. When finished, she put it back in case another person wanted the same hero/heroine. This worked very well and I think it made the kids spend more time developing their story.

It was amazing to see how much fun kids had playing. On multiple occasions, we found the kids pulling this out to play when there were more than four kids. They teamed up and made stories together.

This game is highly versatile and could have lots of uses at home and in the classroom (the directions provide many other uses for it). For example, during writing times, if a kid is having a hard time picking a topic, they could fill in a story board and use it to help them create their story. One tester plans on sharing this game with the first grade teachers at her school. Families will enjoy using this game to foster writing.

Karena Rush, Ph. D.   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Karena Rush is a professor in the Psychology Department at Millersville University. Karena has two young daughters and spends most of her free time outdoors with her family and old English sheepdog.

Look for this product at:
Think-a-lot Toys
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

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