#18 Shaggy Dog Stories

This is a hilarious game of telling tall tales and crazy stories that have three ‘secret’ words hidden inside, which the other players try to guess! This was a firm family favourite when I was younger and it’s a brilliant game for a number of reasons:

  • It’s free! All you need is paper and pencils
  • It’s great fun for the whole family to play together
  • It’s very, very funny!
  • It helps to build vocabulary and comprehension in a fun and engaging way
  • It uses creativity and imagination to tell tales on the spot!
  • By listening to other family members model how to tell stories, children inevitably become better storytellers themselves.

You can split up into teams and points are scored for words guessed or missed! Let your imagination run riot!

How to Play:

1) Ask everyone to write 10 random words on individual pieces of paper. To start with these could be nouns. To make sure everyone understands what nouns are, you could start by watching this short video from BBC Bitesize:

What are nouns? BBC Bitesize Video

2) Once you’ve all written your words, mix them up in a bowl. You might like to split into two teams, or simply take it in turns to be the storyteller. The storyteller chooses 3 words from the bowl and is given 2 minutes to think of a story to tell, which incorporates all of these words. The aim is to ‘hide’ the words within the story, so the more ridiculous your story is – the better!

3) Once the time is up, the storyteller then tells their tall tale… and the other people have to try and guess what the three words were. Depending on how many players you have, you could limit the number of guesses to 1 per person. If you’re only playing with two people, you could allow 3 guesses. 1 point is scored for each correctly guessed word. The storyteller gets a point for each word that was not guessed! Have a go at my example…

Listen to my own ‘Shaggy Dog Story‘ – can you guess my three words?

4) Someone else takes a turn and repeat until all the words are gone!

Top tips:

The first time you play the game it might be quite tricky for some children, but the more you play, the easier they will find it to generate ideas and come up with fantastical, magical, ridiculous stories!

It’s okay if they start by copying your story, do not deter them from doing this. The more they play, the more they’ll be able to generate their own ideas. Eventually, they will become much better storytellers, which means they’ll become much better writers too!

As they become familiar with simple story-telling techniques and traditional narratives, they will be able to construct their owl tall tales. When they get very good at the game, they’ll be able to incorporate more characters, settings and random objects, making the stories more complex and more difficult to guess the secret words that have been hidden away.

Finally, always praise children for brilliant ideas and originality! You want to make them feel like the best storyteller in the world!

Share and Connect!

We’d love to hear whether or not you enjoyed playing Shaggy Dog Stories! You can either comment in the box below or post a photo on social media (you can find me on Facebook and Twitter) using the hashtag #literacywithmissp

Have fun!

Miss P x

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