The Little Story Jar

little story jar

little storytelling jar

little story jar - prompts

In my little Imagination School, I’ve been using a couple of really simple ways to prompt storytelling and imagination. Here’s one – the little story jar. Basically, take one jar and a few pieces of paper. Write down random words on the pieces of paper,  roll them and place them into the jar. Invite your storyteller to draw out the words – maybe three at a time, and ask them to use the words in a story.

When we do this game in Imagination School, the boys take turns guessing what each other’s words were.

I have been loving the inventive stories that have come from the simple prompts. Seriously amazing.

I reckon the storytelling jar is suitable for most ages, and for non-readers, you could replace the words with images.

If you would like to have a go at coming up with a story using these words: laugh, leaf and cloud, enter it into the comments or email me at zanni{@} and I will send the most creative story-owner a lovely new book {surprise}.

Can’t wait to read your stories!

Zanni x

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Linking with Essentially Jess.

  • Oh this is so sweet Zan!

  • The Plumbette

    Love the jar and the prompts. What a great little project to make together and then use to make stories with your children. Very cool Zanni. 🙂

  • Great idea. Simple yet so, so effective!

  • What a lovely idea! I must try and use some tools like this to ignite my Little Vick’s imagination a bit more. He can be far too serious.

  • What a great idea for kids! I use exactly the same technique for my own creative writing prompts but had not thought of using it in this way. There are a couple of great games based on a similar idea, too. One is called Rory’s Story Cubes, which are a set of dice with words or pictures on them. My favourite story-telling game is called “Once Upon A Time” and it uses beautifully illustrated cards as prompts for telling stories.

  • TeganMC

    Great idea for getting kids imagination going.

  • Honeybeebooks

    Aren’t story jars wonderful? We have been using story jars for a few years now at home with the kids and they love them. They now insist on choosing the words that go into the jar too, which is always an interesting and fun activity. Such a wonderful way to inspire their imaginations 🙂

  • What a brilliant idea!
    Unfortunatley right now my mind is not conducive to short story writing. I see cloud and think ‘iCloud’ which is where my IBOT spreadsheets seems to have disappeared too. 🙁
    I will be stealing this idea though for my kids. It’s a great thing to have camping. 🙂

  • Love it Zanni, I will have to try it with my 6 year old budding author xx

  • Great idea Zanni! I love anything that gets those stories rolling in little minds.

  • Kathy

    Love your idea – you know we bought a simple game called Story Cubes a while ago – it works in a similar way – the idea being that whatever number of cubes you roll is the number of words/concepts you need to include in the story you make up. Your idea works just as well.

  • Hugzilla

    Bahahahahaha I might try this myself for the blog. Mmmmm, let’s see…. “dirty nappy”…. “overzealous parent”…. “packet of peanut M&Ms”. It writes itself!

  • Dani @ sand has no home

    Gorgeous idea 🙂 we have a memory jar here.

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    Ooh that sounds lovely, Zanni. We’ll definitely give that a go here x

  • Love this!! I know my leittle Mr 4 would totally be inspired. A nice activity for our Friday’s at home.

  • Love this idea. My five year old has just sent you a voice recording, and my eight year old is still writing her entry. Both very excited! (LOVE BOOKS!)

  • Chantel

    What a gorgeous idea – I’m looking for school holiday activities and this will be one now, thanks 🙂

    Hello from #teamIBOT

  • I can’t see the closing date. Has this closed or is there still time for my kids to enter?

    • Oh, sorry, the comps usually last a week 🙂 But I would love your kids to send me a story if they’d like and I will happily send them a book for their efforts.