Rory’s Story Cubes® is a pocket-sized creative story generator that sparks the imagination of all ages. Our brains are great at making links between things. It is a natural way for us to learn. We communicate in words but think with images. Rory’s Story Cubes® uses this link between pictures and words to help us come up with new and exciting stories to tell and enjoy.
We often get asked questions such as “What are the rules?” or “Do you have to use all nine cubes?” Our answer is always that there are no rules with Rory’s Story Cubes and our only recommendation is that you play with nine cubes. Here’s why…
The nine cubes can be easily divided into three groups of three. A basic narrative structure has three parts – a beginning, a middle and an end – so we use three cubes for each part of a story.
Another reason why we think the number nine is significant relates to the psychological theory of ‘The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two’ devised by psychologist George Miller. Miller suggested that the number of objects an average human can hold in their memory is seven, plus or minus two. By using the nine Story Cubes, the brain is being stretched to process extra information by connecting all nine face-up icons, and given a workout.
Every time you roll nine Story Cubes, your mind takes in patterns the cubes have made and begins to make connections between them, even when there are none there. The logical part of the brain hates incomplete patterns and can’t help but find the story connecting the images together.
What do the icons mean?
The icons are not defined. Their meanings are intentionally open, in order to trigger multiple associations. For example, the castle can be a castle, or it can refer to a princess, or to someone who’s behaving in a guarded way. The concepts of these icons are so universal that children of all ages will have no trouble interpreting them.
Your brain is constantly trying to make meanings and it thinks in pictures. When you look at an icon, you can’t help but find meaning. Your brain is doing it all the time, constantly filling in the gaps. Your brain searches through all your memories and experiences to try and find a meaningful association.
Simply take all nine cubes and give them a shake. Roll them. Then, starting with ‘Once upon a time…’ select the icon that catches your eye first. The objective is to tell a story that link together all nine images.
Take a 9-cube set of Rory’s Story Cubes® such as Original, Actions or Voyages. Remove three Story Cubes and replace them with 3 MIX Cubes. Give them a good shake. Roll them out and start storytelling
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