What is Story Cubes?
The Story Cubes icebreaker activity is an engaging and interactive way to stimulate creativity, encourage communication, and foster collaboration among participants. This game involves specialized dice called Story Cubes, which have images on each face instead of numbers. With themes ranging from actions, voyages, clues, enchantments, and more, Story Cubes offer a wide variety of storytelling possibilities, making it an ideal icebreaker for both educational environments and informal settings such as team-building sessions or workshops.
The purpose of this activity is to create a story using all the images that appear on the rolled Story Cubes. This can be done individually or collaboratively in a group setting. The game involves rolling the cubes, interpreting the images, and then crafting a story based on those interpretations. In a group setting, participants take turns adding sentences to the story, while in an individual setting, each player creates and recounts their stories independently. Once all stories are complete, participants can share them, allowing for reflection, praise, constructive discussion, and bonding over creative outputs.
The Story Cubes icebreaker activity is versatile and adaptable to various group dynamics and purposes. It encourages participants to engage in an act of creation that not only fosters a sense of community but also improves language skills and enhances creative thinking. With little preparation required, it’s an enjoyable way to get individuals warmed up for more intensive sessions of work or play.
Rules for Story Cubes
- Introduce the concept of story cubes and explain the objective of creating a story using all the images that appear on the rolled story cubes.
- Decide whether the activity will be played individually or in a group, and roll all 9 Story Cubes on a flat surface.
- Give participants time to view all images that landed face up and interpret them literally, symbolically, or metaphorically.
- In a group setting, use either round robin or freeform storytelling methods, with each participant adding one sentence based on one of the images.
- Ensure all cube faces/images have been incorporated into the tale before concluding the story.
- After completing stories, participants can share them and reflect on their creative outputs.
- Consider incorporating extensions or variations, such as time limits, genre specificity, or competition, to add challenge and direct the nature of stories created.
Materials needed for Story Cubes
- Story Cubes: Specialized dice with images on each face instead of numbers. Story cubes come in sets, with themes ranging from actions, voyages, clues, enchantments, and more, granting a wide variety of storytelling possibilities. Typically, a set includes 9 cubes, providing a robust combination of images for story creation.
Setting up for Story Cubes
To set up for the Story Cubes icebreaker activity, you’ll want to ensure that you have a comfortable and inclusive space for all participants. If you’re in a classroom or meeting room, arrange the seating in a circle or around a table, so everyone can see each other and interact easily.
In an informal setting like a park or beach, create a circle using available resources such as chairs, blankets, or towels. This will help define the storytelling area and encourage active participation from all members.
Additionally, consider any necessary props to enhance the experience, such as notepads for individual players to jot down their stories or markers for visual aids during collaborative storytelling. Make sure there is ample lighting for everyone to see the Story Cubes clearly, and noise levels in the environment are conducive to focused listening and communication.
Lastly, establish ground rules that foster respect and inclusivity, such as encouraging active listening, avoiding interrupting others, and valuing all contributions equally. Doing so will create a safe and supportive space for participants to engage fully in story creation and collaboration.
How to play Story Cubes
1. Gather Materials Prepare the Story Cubes set related to your desired theme. Find a comfortable space where participants can sit in a circle or around a table.
2. Introduce the Activity Explain the purpose of the game, emphasizing collaboration, creativity, and communication. Share that you will create stories using images on rolled Story Cubes.
3. Roll the Cubes Decide if participants will play individually or in a group. In groups, roll all 9 cubes on a flat surface, ensuring all faces are visible to everyone.
4. Interpret Images Allow participants time to view and interpret the images. Remind them they can be interpreted literally, symbolically, or metaphorically.
5. Begin Storytelling In group settings, choose between round-robin (adding one sentence based on an image) or freeform storytelling. In competitive environments, allow individual players to create and recount their stories independently.
6. Conclude the Story Continue adding sentences until all cube faces/images have been incorporated into the tale. For individual settings, each player concludes their story before passing the dice on.
7. Share Stories (Optional) Provide an opportunity for participants to share their stories, fostering reflection, praise, and constructive discussion.
8. Add Extensions or Variations (Optional) - Incorporate time limits for additional challenge or pace in large groups - Decide on a specific genre beforehand to add direction - Introduce competition by including judging criteria and reward points
By using Story Cubes, you encourage creativity, communication, and collaboration among participants. This engaging icebreaker activity can be adapted for various group settings and purposes, making it an enjoyable and effective way to foster community and enhance creative thinking.
Benefits of Story Cubes
- Fosters Creativity: Playing Story Cubes helps participants tap into their imagination and think outside the box, which can be particularly beneficial in brainstorming sessions or creative workshops.
- Encourages Verbal Communication: By its very nature, this activity promotes active listening and clear verbal expression as players build upon each other’s ideas to create a cohesive story.
- Develops Storytelling Skills: Participants learn to construct narratives, considering plot development, character creation, and setting establishment, all of which are crucial skills in many professional and personal scenarios.
- Promotes Active Learning: The dynamic nature of the game keeps learners engaged and attentive, making it an excellent tool for educators looking to introduce new concepts or reinforce existing knowledge in a fun, interactive way.
- Enhances Critical Thinking: Interpreting the dice images encourages lateral thinking, helping players make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts and fostering problem-solving abilities.
- Builds Confidence: As participants contribute to the group story, they practice public speaking and gain confidence in their ability to express themselves effectively in front of others.
- Cultivates Empathy: Engaging in collaborative storytelling allows players to see things from different perspectives, deepening their understanding of various viewpoints and promoting emotional intelligence.
- Strengthens Social Bonds: The shared experience of creating a story together helps build rapport and strengthen connections among group members, making it an ideal icebreaker activity for team-building sessions or workshops.
- Provides Entertainment Value: Above all, Story Cubes is a fun and engaging game that brings people together, providing laughter and enjoyment while fostering valuable skills.
Skills built with Story Cubes
- Creativity: Playing Story Cubes helps build creativity by encouraging players to think outside the box and make connections between different images and concepts. It challenges participants to come up with unique interpretations and storylines, helping them develop their creative thinking skills.
- Verbal Communication: The game requires individuals to articulate their thoughts clearly, enhancing their verbal communication abilities. Through sharing stories and reflecting on the narratives of others, players become more confident in expressing themselves and engaging in meaningful conversations.
- Active Listening: Story Cubes fosters active listening skills, as players must pay attention to the contributions of others and incorporate those ideas into the ongoing narrative. By practicing attentive listening, participants not only improve their understanding of different perspectives but also enhance their ability to engage in collaborative activities effectively.
- Collaboration: The game promotes teamwork by requiring players to work together to create a cohesive story from randomly rolled images. This process encourages cooperation and compromise, allowing individuals to strengthen their collaboration skills and build positive relationships with others.
- Critical Thinking: Participants must analyze the images on the dice and determine how they fit into the storyline, which requires critical thinking. By practicing this skill, players become better equipped to solve problems and make informed decisions in other areas of life.
- Empathy: Engaging in storytelling activities can help build empathy by allowing individuals to see the world from different viewpoints and understand the emotions and motivations of their characters. This increased understanding of others’ experiences can foster greater compassion and emotional intelligence.
- Language Skills: Story Cubes helps improve language skills, as players practice constructing sentences, using descriptive language, and incorporating new vocabulary into their stories. By engaging in regular storytelling activities, participants can enhance their overall communication abilities and become more articulate speakers and writers.
Why I like Story Cubes
As an advocate for creative thinking and team-building activities, I find the Story Cubes icebreaker to be an excellent tool for fostering collaboration, communication, and imagination among participants. Here are a few reasons why I appreciate this game:
- Flexibility: The Story Cubes icebreaker activity can be easily adapted for various settings, group sizes, ages, and skill levels. Whether you’re working with children in an educational context or adults in a corporate workshop, the game can be tailored to suit your needs.
- Accessibility: With minimal setup required and readily available materials (Story Cubes sets), this activity is perfect for those who want to dive right into a creative exercise without spending too much time on preparation.
- Encouraging Creativity: By introducing randomness through the rolled Story Cubes, participants are prompted to think creatively and view images from multiple perspectives. This fosters cognitive flexibility and helps individuals develop their ability to generate unique ideas.
- Language Skills Development: As a language-based activity, the Story Cubes icebreaker encourages participants to practice verbal communication, vocabulary development, and story structure. For English language learners or students, this can be an enjoyable way to improve their skills.
- Community Building: The collaborative nature of the game promotes social bonding and a sense of belonging within the group. Sharing stories and reflecting on one another’s creativity sparks laughter, empathy, and meaningful conversations.
- Versatility: With numerous extensions and variations, the Story Cubes icebreaker can be customized to cater to specific goals or themes, such as genre-specific storytelling, time limits, or competition. This adaptability ensures that participants remain engaged and motivated throughout the activity.
Overall, I believe the Story Cubes icebreaker is a powerful tool for facilitating creative thinking, collaboration, and communication among participants in various settings. Its versatility, accessibility, and potential for fostering community make it an invaluable addition to educators’ and facilitators’ toolkits.
Tips for making Story Cubes more inclusive
- Tip: When introducing the Story Cubes activity, make sure to explain the rules clearly and give examples of how to interpret the dice images to ensure all participants understand and feel comfortable with the process.
- Tip: Encourage participants to share their stories, but always respect their decision not to if they prefer to keep their creations private.
- Tip: To make the activity more inclusive for non-native speakers or those who struggle with language, you can allow time for translation or provide written story templates to help structure their thoughts.
- Tip: In a large group, consider breaking participants into smaller teams or pairs to create stories. This can foster closer connections and make it easier for quieter individuals to contribute.
- Tip: When leading a round robin style storytelling session, remind participants to listen carefully to each other’s contributions and build on them in a respectful manner, promoting an inclusive environment.
- Tip: Incorporate open-ended questions or discussion prompts related to the stories being created to encourage deeper engagement and connection between participants.
- Tip: Be mindful of cultural differences that might affect storytelling styles or comfort levels with certain topics, and make adjustments as needed to ensure a positive experience for all involved.
Reflection questions for Story Cubes
- What was your favorite image or moment from the stories we shared? This question encourages participants to reflect on the positive aspects of the activity and acknowledge their peers’ contributions.
- How did it feel to interpret the dice images and incorporate them into your story? This question can help facilitators understand the participants’ comfort level with creativity and improvisation, as well as identify areas for improvement in future activities.
- Did you find any of the dice images challenging to include in your story? If so, which ones, and why? By asking this question, facilitators can gain insights into potential difficulties participants faced during the activity and address those challenges in subsequent sessions or variations.
- How do you think this Story Cubes icebreaker contributed to our group’s collaboration and communication? This question allows participants to reflect on the activity’s impact on their interaction with others, providing valuable feedback for facilitators about the effectiveness of the game as an icebreaker or team-building tool.
- Would you participate in a similar Story Cubes icebreaker again? Why or why not? This question offers insights into participants’ overall satisfaction with the activity and helps facilitators make informed decisions when planning future sessions.
About the author
Founder & Chief Icebreaker
I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.
Activities you may also like
Keep the fun going with these similar activities.
Get ready to unleash your creativity with Finish the Story - the ultimate team-building activity!
Unleash your team's creativity with Two Word Story - the ultimate team-building activity!
Unleash Your Creativity with Sentence Starter: The Ultimate Team-Building Activity!
Unleash the Power of Storytelling: A Team-Building Game That Uncovers Shared Experiences and Themes in Small Groups!
Boost Teamwork and Creativity with Conducted Story: The Ultimate Team-Building Game!
Unleash Your Team's Hidden Detective Skills with the Thrilling Mystery Box Game!
Unleash Your Creativity with This Hilarious Team Storytelling Game!
Unleash Hidden Stories: A Captivating Icebreaker Game of 'Once Upon a Time'
Unleash Your Creativity with This Engaging Icebreaker: Tall Tales!