Once they get hooked, there’s no stopping them. Morning, noon, and night they’re begging for more. What can you do? It’s the way of the world. Stories are just that much fun. (And yeah, video games, too.)
See them up there? They actually aren’t playing a game. He’s telling her a story. I wish I could take credit for this. I wish I could say I came up with a fun way to use technology to promote creativity and storytelling. But this? This they did all on their own. Once you start with the stories, it all sort of takes on a life of its own.
These two use the DoodleBuddy app. You know this one? It’s free and really basic, and we kept it on our devices for them to use when they were little and we were desperate to distract them while we actually spoke to other adults for a while. It was great for that, but they quickly outgrew the doodling aspect of it. That’s when they started making up stories.
The cool thing about DoodleBuddy is that it has these stamps. Preset pictures that you can put anywhere on the screen, and (if your parents don’t make you turn the volume off because, annoying) each one makes a little sound effect when you use it. So they fill half the screen with trees and it’s a forest. Then the forest is infested with ladybugs. But the sun comes out and kills of the ladybugs and…on and on and on. The pages of pictures themselves suggest new plot points. Forest fire? Rain? That’ll work.
They tell them to each other. They tell them to me. I even hear them open it up and mutter the stories under their breaths to themselves.
So there you go. A good idea from my kids to yours. Next time you’re waiting in line for the oil change or hanging out in a dangerously overcrowded restaurant, give it a try. It just might save the day.