Last week, my nine-year-old daughter Jane and I were interviewed on NPR about some of our favorite apps for the family. One of our picks was Story Dice. This attractively-designed iOS app lets you roll virtual dice that have a number of different symbols on their faces. You can select the number of dice per throw (from 1 to 10). Every time you shake the phone or tap the screen you get a new throw of the dice. I'm not sure how many different symbols there are, but I see new ones all the time, and we have played with this app quite a bit.
I imagine there are lots of uses for Story Dice, but our favorite use is to hold family story-telling contests. When we are in the car or at a restaurant, we will roll the dice and each member of the family takes a turn telling a story. The rules are that the story must mention every symbol in the throw, and the story can't be longer than a couple of minutes. Then we vote on who told the best story, and the winner gets something like a dollar, or a bite of everyone else's dessert, or some other similar reward.
Story Dice would be a useful tool for writing exercises, too. It's $2 in the iTunes store.
Just for fun, make up a story using the symbols above and post it to the comments!
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Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.