We love Story Box: Create Your Own Fairytales and Ghost Story Box: Create Your Own Spooky Tales is just as much fun. Making spooky (or not so spooky!) stories using the large jigsaw pieces from The Ghost Story Box would be a fun activity for a Halloween party. We spent a long time discussing which characters we wanted to use and rearranging the pieces to make different stories.
The Ghost Story Box is sturdy and contains 20 double sided, interchangeable puzzle pieces. An initial piece shows a man, a woman, a young girl and a dog in a car and can be used to stimulate initial questions about how to start a story – Is this a family? Where are they driving to? What time of year is it? Or you can turn the piece over and start with a ghost peering out of the window of a very ordinary looking house – What or who is s/he looking at? How is s/he feeling? Why is there a crack across the window?
The consecutive pieces show various characters engaged in different activities – as well as the ‘family’ there’s a little boy, two workmen, two adult ghosts, a magician and lots of little ghosts. The leaf colours on the pieces are autumnal and settings include the ghosts’ house, a fairground, a forest and a busy city. We love the inclusion of characters reading, writing letters and drawing together as well as the smartphones so that characters can communicate with each other.
The large jigsaw pieces can be arranged and rearranged to tell a multitude of stories and we love the way that every story is different. You can get wildly creative with the 20 pieces and create a spooky or not so spooky story which can lead to one of six different endings. Ella Bailey’s illustrations are full of details that can interlink many of the pieces together which results in a multitude of combinations. Just turning the puzzle piece over can take your story into a completely new direction, it took us a long time to arrange the pieces for the story that we wanted and there were a lot of ‘what ifs’? and discussions throughout the process. I also challenged my daughter to make a short story using just 5 pieces!
I have used The Story Box with groups of children and my daughter has also taken it into school. It’s a fabulous classroom resource for all ages and there are so many ways that it could be used. Not only does it encourage children to use their imaginations and think creatively but it can also be used to develop speaking and writing skills. It’s also a great resource to use in any language as you provide all the words! Ideas that I came up with for using The Ghost Story Box include;
- Children create their own stories and scenarios while playing with the pieces.
- The child creates a story and the parent / teacher writes it out. If somebody else writes the story the child has the opportunity to use their imagination without being distracted by the mechanics of writing. The child could make their story into a book or illustrate it and the story can be used later for reading practice.
- Each player in a small group is given several puzzle pieces. When it’s the player’s turn they can choose a piece that they think will fit to move the story forward. This is a fun activity to develop storytelling / speaking skills.
- A teacher, adult or another child writes a story using the puzzle pieces. Children can look for the corresponding puzzle piece and put the story together as the story is read aloud.
- Children can write out and illustrate the stories that they have created for a class book or a classroom wall display.
Illustrator: Ella Bailey
Thank you to publisher Laurence King for sending us a Ghost Story Box. It’s a wonderful storytelling resource for this time of year!