Every Summer, Christmas and Easter vacation comes with something very precious to me - time…
A STEAM Card Game For Kids
My 6 year old LOVES games. She loves computer games, games on apps, board games, card games, sports, and any other kind of game you can play. I mean, what kid doesn’t like games? And now that she is old enough to understand and follow rules (or break them from time to time), she is really getting into the idea. Now, she wants me to play games with her.
Being the teacher that I am (not to mention wife, daughter, grandaughter and cousin to many other teachers), I love finding games that are educational in nature. As a theatre teacher, there are some people that think all I do is play games. There is a reason games are so loved by teachers. Kids are having fun while absorbing critical lessons.
When we got a set of Story Dealer cards, I was thinking of including them as a suggestion for STEAM based stocking stuffers, but when we started playing with them, I knew I needed to talk about so much more. For such a simple concept, they are so useful for engaging kids in games that are fun and educational.
What is Story Dealer?
Story Dealer is a deck of cards containing Who, What, When Where, Why and How cards. Each card fits into one of these categories and has an adorable illustration that shows the who, the what, the when, the where, or the why. Story Dealer also has a maker/DIY deck available so that kids can really use their creativity and design their own cards.
One of the fun things about Story Dealer is that there is no set way to play. It’s not a game, per se, but a deck of cards with endless possibilities for playing and learning. Reagan and I took them and tried a bunch of ways to play. One of our favorites is dealing out 6 cards to each player and taking turns drawing from the deck (or the discard pile if you want) and the first player to get one of each “suit” tells the story based on cards in their hand. We also played a version where each player drew a card and had to add on to the story.
This is really only scratching the surface. There are literally endless ways you can use the Story Dealer cards as a fun game at home or in a classroom setting. I showed the deck to my mom, a primary ESL teacher, and she came up with about 5 new games and ways she could use it in her class to reinforce language concepts.
What Makes It STEAM?
STEAM is the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. While the foundation of the games is usually going to be language arts based, the cards themselves have a lot of elements of science, technology, and the arts, naturally lending themselves to STEAM stories. The How cards really make kids think about designing creative solutions to problems as well. In the first game that we played, Reagan drew a How card. She had to come up with a solution for how a robot could go underwater. This “how” idea drives the story deeper than a simple narrative, now kids have to think about real solutions. If we can instill this habit and mode of thinking in a young generation, imagine what they can accomplish in the future!
I will be making use of my Story Dealer decks both in my classroom and at home with my kids. I will also be purchasing a deck for my mom and for my daughter’s teacher. This is a fantastic addition to our game collection and with the unlimited ways there are to play, I don’t see us getting bored with it any time soon.
If you are interested in purchasing your own set, you can find it at https://www.storydealer.games/