Storytellers love words. The way they sound, what they mean, and how they work together to create worlds near and far. Here are 12 Parents’ Choice Award winners that will make great gifts for the logophiles, raconteurs and yarn spinners in your life.
Ages: 3 & Up
This cooperative story telling game includes a two piece sturdy wooden base with grooves, a double sided backdrop, 10 prop pieces, 11 character pieces, three wooden dice with pictures of people, critters and things found on a farm, and a die with action words including feed, work, and run.
The object of the game is clear: players take turns as they work together to tell the best story of all time. The game play is delightful: the roll of the dice prompts the story and the placement of the corresponding game pieces add dimension and context. And they all played happily ever after!
Ages: 4 & Up
Manufacturer: SCS Direct
This wonderful game of imagination and creativity contains twenty-four story place cards, fifty small story pieces, and a story bag. Players use the cards and pieces to create their unique tall tales. The storytelling engages children and adults alike, encouraging creativity and imagination, expanding vocabulary, listening skills, and honing important social skills such as cooperative play, turn-taking, and good sportsmanship.
Additionally, there are no rules, no right or wrong “moves”, or answers. Children can instead concentrate on creating and enjoying the stories they and their playmates develop. Every game is as different as it is fun.
Ages: 8 & Up
This game brings storytelling and adventure to cards. Each deck let’s players (single or multiple) decide how an alien or pirate adventure unfolds. As players flip the cards, they’re faced with choices – and each choice determines the course of play.
Ages: 8 & Up
This rapid-fire, really fun word teasing game requires think-fast skills to play. It comes with plastic travel case, a sand timer and 80 round, double-sided cards with a large letter on one side and color-coded categories on the other for lots of opportunity for 10 variations of play.
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: INversionGAMES LLC
This mind bending card game is all about making words from a 10-card hand. Each of the 56 cards displays a letter. However, each letter card can become another simply by rotating the card 180 degrees. For example, an “a” becomes an “e,” an “o” becomes a “c,” a “t” becomes an “f” and so on. Challenging, clever, appealing, and educational.
Ages: 10 & Up
This quick-action dice-and-card word game is easy, fun and loud. And it also exercises quick thinking skills! Players draw a card and slap it down face up. The first player to figure out the jumbled letters and yell out the word wins that card. Collect 20 cards and you win the game. This is a cool brainteasing game for the whole family.
Mad Libs: The Game
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Looney Labs
This games is a fun spin-off of the traditional Mad Libs word game. It includes 200 Word cards and 42 Sentence cards. Players use their cards to create grammatically correct, yet hilarious sentences. Parts of speech have never been this fun, or funny, or fun-filled!
Ages: 12 & Up
This game is for fast readers who enjoy looking at their favorite reading material from a new angle. Players choose a book — any book: a novel, a history book, even a cookbook — and wait for the prompts to tell them what to look for in the book of their choice.
Particularly creative kids could use the cards as writing prompts and regardless of the size of the game or the source material, Bring Your Own Book will appeal to pretty much everyone with a silly streak.
Each week, this vocabulary-learning website introduces kids to five Big Words of the Day in short, animated videos that include the word’s correct spelling, its phonetic spelling, its definition and its use in a sentence.
Editor’s Note: The Big Word Club’s mission is to help bridge the Word Gap. To that end, for each Big Word Club subscription sold, the company’s “From One to Many” program will give a subscription to a classroom. Want more information? Email firstname.lastname@example.org – and tell them Parents’ Choice Foundation sent you.
Ages: All Ages
Author: Oliver Jeffers
Illustrator: Sam Winston
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $17.99
In this striking book, words from lullabies and classics of children’s literature (and images of weathered tomes) serve as material for an inspired visualization of literary make-believe.
Ages: 10 – 16 yrs.
Author: Steve Peha
Publisher: Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc.
Hardcover Price: $19.95
This is a well-written, well-organized book on writing with effective skill-building tools that can benefit all levels of writers ages ten and up. It also functions efficiently as a reference tool, as well as an in-depth instructional aid that can hone in on developing specific skills.
Ages: 10 – 13 yrs.
Author: Heather Forest
Publisher: August House Publishers, Inc.
Hardcover Price: $17.95
The stories in this multicultural anthology are brief, thought provoking tales from around the world; Greece, England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Africa and India to cite a few, and their messages are universal. All are superbly composed to further understand and appreciate the principles and virtues that inform our lives.