10 Year Anniversary of the Idea for Rory's Story Cubes

It was this week ten years ago that Rory had the idea for the Metacube™. He was using an invention technique called 'Advanced Civilisation' developed by Win Wenger. He began describing it to me in great detail. Our first baby was weeks old at the time and I was suffering from severe baby-brain. I asked him (as politely as a sleep-deprived, first-time mother can) to please prototype it so I could understand how it worked. And he did.

MetaCube

We have many ideas, most remain in our heads. The act of making a simple prototype to explain your idea to someone else can be the difference between an idea remaining just that or it becoming a real 'thing'.

Within a few months the Metacube™ had evolved into Rory's Story Cubes® and we began our first small production run. What a journey it has been.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

When An Article Can Inspire - Camp Zeitouna

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In mid June, the Huffington Post published an article on their website that inspired us to get involved with a truly worthwhile project. The piece was entitled "Every Child Deserves To Play".

The article, by Ehsan Zaffar, described Camp Zeitouna - an arts and sports programme for displaced Syrian children run by the Karam Foundation. The project endeavours to counter traumatic factors in these children’s lives by restoring some semblance of regularity and by continuing their vital education. The concept is simple - that every child deserves to play. The camp aimed to fulfil this concept by building playgrounds and running workshops that allowed the children to express their creativity and imagination.

Camp Zeitouna spoke to The Creativity Hub as it is a programme that fits with our own mission. This being that everybody, young and old, should have the opportunity to play, especially children. Every year we choose one cause to sponsor and, for 2013, we decided that the cause would be Zeitouna.

We got in contact with the organisers at the Karam Foundation and offer a donation of 1500 sets of Rory's Story Cubes, to aid the children's workshops. In response, the Foundation informed us that they did not believe in handouts and suggested that we run storytelling workshops as part of the Winter Camp. In exchange for taking part in the workshop, each child would receive their own set of Rory's Story Cubes. We jumped at this chance to work directly with the children.

Rory travelled to the Al Salam Syrian School in Reyhanli, located on the Turkish/Syrian border in early December. He spent 5 days using Story Cubes to personally work with children of all ages, encouraging them to tell stories. Rory joined 30 other mentors from all over the world who ran many different workshops. You can watch a video of Rory's trip and experience at the camp below.

Rory at Zeitouna 2013 from The Creativity Hub on Vimeo.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Rory's Story Cubes® Study Group - using story cubes as an ice breaker.

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In an earlier Blog post we wrote about the Rory's Story Cubes® Study Group in Tokyo, Japan. 

Comprising around 40 members from diverse backgrounds, the group develop and share new uses for Rory’s Story Cubes which can be applied in the areas of Human Development, Teaching, Facilitation and Nursery activities. 

Mr. Toshihiko Hagiwara is a member of the Study Group and also a lecturer at Tohoku Gakuin University. He has devised a very effective way to use Rory's Story Cubes as an ice breaker at his seminars for Junior students. Each student picks two story cubes. Using the first cube as a prompt, they must introduce and describe themselves to the group. The second cube is then used to help them express their goals and aspirations for the course. Here are the students and Mr. Hagiwara with the cubes they chose, and the thoughts that they shared with the group.


  We will share more Ways To Play  from the Study Group soon. Send your own Ways To Play to us, we're   always listening. 

  waystoplay@storycubes.com  

Thursday, 05 September 2013

Rory's Story Cubes® - engaging children in creative activities.

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It’s nearly September, and time for children all over the world to prepare to embark on a new educational year. 

We thought this would be the perfect time to share some ingenious ways in which parents and teachers have been using Rory’s Story Cubes to engage children, and spark creativity both at home and in the classroom. 

Over in the USA, Catherine Schembri   has found a way to help her twin sons with their creative writing assignments. Catherine home schools her sons, who have Aspergers Syndrome and can sometimes find creative writing assignments to be a challenge. She uses Rory’s Story Cubes to help the boys introduce descriptive words into their writing. 

In this short video, one of the boys tells a wonderfully descriptive story using his storycubes. 

Also in the USA, Tavia Fuller Armstrong uses Rory’s Story Cubes to help her son The Reluctant Writer smash through his writer’s block. Although he was already a competent verbal storyteller, Tavia’s son found sitting down and writing his stories to be a challenge. Using Rory’s Story Cubes, Tavia was able to help her son overcome this problem and he went on to win a story writing prize. 

In China, Jen writes a Blog   about the challenges of teaching boys in particular. Jen wanted to get her male students excited about writing. She devised a way to combine Rory’s Story Cubes with the children’s vocabulary cards and connect images between the icons and the words.The boys’ enthusiasm was fired and they established characters, settings and conflicts for their tales and even added titles at the end. 

I Teach Boys

And in the UK, Priya Desal   has devised a way to use Rory’s Story Cubes for storytelling and also to help children learn sentence construction skills and vocabulary at home. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Rory's Story Cubes® - Roy and Anita's trip to Hong Kong.

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Following on from our earlier Blog posts  on Rory and Anita’s trip to Asia, here’s a post about the final leg of their journey to Hong Kong. 

After leaving South Korea, Rory and Anita traveled to Hong Kong where they visited the factory that produces Rory’s Story Cubes. They met the factory’s owner Mr. Lam and his two sons, with whom they discussed the challenges of running a family business. They were also surprised to discover that both Rory and Anita and the Lams had been living in Vancouver, Canada at the same time in the 1990s. 

The Rory’s Story Cubes ‘family’ in China is represented by our distributors Capstone HK. In addition to being a distributor, Capstone HK is a gaming venue and retail outlet - very befitting for Rory’s Story Cubes. 

Capstone HK had organised for Rory and Anita to be guest speakers at a Boardgame Workshop at City University, Hong Hong. The theme was ‘Using Games In Education’, and ideas for using Rory’s Story Cubes in Education were shared and discussed. 

We are always fascinated to hear how Rory’s Story Cubes have been adopted for different uses around the world. In China, they are often used in Language Recovery Therapies, Social Work, and as a Brain Game. 

By the end of the trip it became apparent that players from across Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong had all eagerly embraced Rory’s Story Cubes®, which really emphasised the universal aspect of the product. Yet equally, from a business point of view we know that we must approach each country in a unique way. 

Friday, 23 August 2013