Two new device-free ways to get kids thinking

An illustrated book and a card game look at ways to engage kids in storytelling and critical thinking away from their devices!

Take Heart, Take Action

by Beci Orpin (Lothian Children’s Books, hardback $19.99) Age Group 4+ years

Take-Heart-take-action-coverThis simply designed book for children is ‘a reminder for everyone, young and old, that you can make a positive impact on today’s world.’ Each page has a colourful shape into which the author has placed a simple thought such as ‘Consume Less’, ‘Have Hope’, ‘Save Water’ or ‘Vote’.

The book is perfect for reading to a group and using the ideas to start the conversation with kids about the 20 topics. There is a very helpful section at the end of the book get the discussion started. For example, think about ‘Show Compassion’ – what does it mean? The author, Beci suggests “Compassion is about trying to understand other people’s feelings so you can help them” and follows on with some discussion points ‘If someone is in a bad mood, think about why they feel that way.’

Talu Tales

by Annabel Blake (researcher and strategist) and Deborah Ho (designer) from Little Literature Co  $39 at these bookshops or available online   Age Group 6+ years

Talu Tales, is a variety of boxed, storytelling card games that introduce STEM concepts and creative thinking to children through play, mixing the principles of traditional storytelling with ideas of science, environment, biology and maths with a new and different approach.

Talu-Tales1440Thoughtfully created, designed and packaged by Co-founder friends and former Google colleagues, Talu Tales is something the authors wished had been on offer when they were young girls.  They felt there needed to be more encouragement for girls in particular to become involved with STEM subjects so designed these game cards to kindle the interest.

Designed as a game with no winner as such, each creative storytelling card pack would also be perfect for a themed classroom discussion or improvisation. The cards are the story prompts and could be easily adapted for the classroom using the suggestions by the designers for Creative Writing, Improvisation or Brainstorming.

The Talu Tale “Space, Spaghetti and Aliens” storytelling box has 19 colour coded cards (character, setting, item, and action). We selected the character card ‘Theo The Space Dog’ on which there are small details about ‘Theo’ (can speak to animals, planet and aliens; has a magic nose) and added an action card ‘Uh-Oh’ which describes possible problems – ‘Aliens have discovered Earth’ and with this we developed a story about what our character ‘Theo, the space dog’ could do in this situation.

The storytelling is very open-ended and is designed to be as long and as short as there is time and interest.

Also see the free printable activity sheets on their website!