Rory's Story Cubes

Jane Tomlinson's Run 4 All Events, The Asda Foundation Family Fun Zone!


What's it all about?

This year, as part of the Asda sponsored Family Fun Zone, Imagination Gaming are featuring with Breeze Leeds activities at several of Jane Tomlinson Run 4 All events.

Imagination Gaming will be bringing our unique brand of family tabletop games and activities for everyone to have a go at, including a story writing challenge at each of the following events:

  • Nottingham 10k - May 15th 2016
  • Leeds 10k  - July 10th 2016
  • York 10k -  August 7th 2016

You can see the full schedule of events at , and find out a bit more about the events once they're done below!


Nottingham 10K - May 15th 2016

Last weekend we set up at the inaugural Nottingham 10K event in the glorious sunshine, we can only hope every event starts like this!

The Asda Foundation Family Fun Zone, featured several activities, all under one big marquee as part of the main event, smack in the city centre. Only yards from the start and finish line the place was bustling with runners, supporters and spectators, all ready to enjoy the festivities.

We took along a variety of modern board and card games suitable for just about every age and taste, with the key being to get all generations playing and having fun together. We also brought along our Rory's Story Cubes themed challenge to appeal to those of an even more creative nature.

Here's a few of the games that have proved popular so far!


Puzzles galore!

Puzzles are ALWAYS very popular, The Katamino shape builder is one of our favourites, but our only copy of a little known challenge called Colour Magic sent to us as part of last years Imagination Gaming Awards was proving intriguing... and frustratingly addictive too!


Of all the games that were played in Nottingham one stood out for particular reason - Brave Rats....

Brave Rats is a 2-player game with only 16 cards in total. Will your 8 rats beat your opponents?!

We hate stereo-typing, but there was one 'typically reluctant' young man, who was only there because he 'had' to be and was 'dragged' along by his family! Not unusual, but seeing his Mum's exasperation we managed to convince him to sit down and give something a go... I'm afraid we do that!

What followed was complete, unadulterated concentration on his part, even laughing his head off every time I beat him at Brave Rats... but that didn't last long. He quickly realised it wasn't as simple as it looked and that to succeed it took not only though on what he had to do and strategy, but also to study what I was doing.

When he did that I was doomed, he was elated and his Mum was overjoyed. I think we were still sat playing on the only table left in the square, long after the marquee had disappeared from over-head!


And what about the Story Challenge...

We used one of our favourite games, Rory's story Cubes, to invite a little bit of creative story telling too.

The challenge is to roll 9 dice showing various characters, objects and ideas, to find 9 random things to fit into your tale. The real trick is fitting them in quickly., We only let you use less than 1 side of paper to get your story told, making for hilarious outcomes.

We'll be featuring a few of these stories here soon, and look forward to what we get at the next events!



Leeds 10k  - July 10th 2016

York 10k -  August 7th 2016


Find out more about Breeze Leeds here

Find out more about the Asda Foundation here



Monthly Games Day at Ecclesfield Library

Great news if you're in the Sheffield area (or even if you're not but you don't mind travelling!)...

We are happy to announce some regular games sessions, one Saturday each month for the next 8 months, and free to attend!

Thanks to some great work and support from Ecclesfield Library, and some Big Lotttery funding, we'll be there for the first session next Saturday, the 20th August, from 10am to 3pm. We have pencilled in the third Saturday of each following month for now and these dates will be absolutely confirmed soon.

For now here's some details and get yourself along!... (and don't forget your Sheffield Children's University Passport to Learning if you want some credits too!)


New Activity for Shakespeare Week Rolling Out!

We have a fantastic new activity and competition, designed specifically to support upcoming Shakespeare Week and creatively engage young readers. 'SHAKEspeare Stories' gives players an opportunity to choose a creatively abridged plot-line from one of his famous tales of their choice, and recreate the story with characters and a setting randomly generated by 'shaking the story', with a new range of the worldwide phenomenon that is Rory's Story Cubes.


'SHAKEspeare Stories' with Imagination Gaming

Before Christmas we were approached by Sheffield Libraries to see if we had any activities to help support and promote Shakespeare Week 2016. We replied with a resounding - 'ERM?!...' ! 

I must confess this was a new one on me, even with everything we have done in schools for years and a son of school age myself,  it was something I hadn't come across before, but it's a big thing. Shakespeare Week is a national, annual celebration that aims to give primary school children a fun, engaging and inspirational first encounter with the man and his work. Thousands of schools, families and organisations took part last year and the number contnues to grow.

In 2016 it's the 400 year celebration!

Back to the conversation with Sheffield Libraries - I think it went, 'Sure, no problem, give us a couple of days... we'll get back to you ASAP!' If you know us, you'll know we love a challenge, usually us giving them to you. We do pride ourselves on coming up with fresh ideas though, and this was, well, an opportunity shall we say.

It's relatively easy to come up with ideas that contain the relevant content, but making it appealing, accesible and understandable to the your audience, that's the crucial bit. If an activity doesn't hit those 3 markers you're going to struggle. The biggest perceived barrier between Shakespeare and todays generations is undoubtedly the language. As I recall there's plenty of mirth and festivities and not an awful lot of L.O.L and smiley face icons!


So we came up with 'SHAKEspeare Stories'

Regardless of the language used, the stories of Shakespeare are rich in plot and timeless. We simply needed to be able to get these across simply so that newcomers to Shakespeare could quickly appreciate them and realise they were still relevant in todays world, and then inspire them with an opportunity to get creative with Shakespeare as the starting point.

So we went back to an old favourite, the mighty Rory's Story Cubes and our previous story challenges. These simple story cubes have taken the world by storm in recent years and are great for developing communication and creativity from a young age. We use them regularly in our literacy games days and workshops in schools and libraries nationwide to great effect.

With 'SHAKEspeare Stories' we have found a fun way of introducing Shakespeare and getting players to write their own stories based on a similar theme. We provide participants with a menu of extremely abridged versions of his more famous works, just 2 or 3 sentences that get the essence of the story across and no more. This enables players to quickly recognise the basis of each story and from that they can decide the basic arc of their tale. They can then 'SHAKE' the story cubes and introduce random elements to their story, knitting them together however their imagination sees fit.


For example!

Imagine taking the plot-line Romeo and Juliet: A young couple fall in love, their friends and family try to keep them apart but they continue to meet whenever and wherever they can. They manage to escape together but there is a sad ending when something unfortunate happens to both of them.

Players then write their own short version including the content on the dice they rolled, which include characters, animals, objects, emotions and settings. What if Romeo was a lonely tortoise and Juliet is a beautiful fish?!!... and the events and emotions and other characters on the dice they have been given would help form the rest of their very own story.

There are also sets of themed Story Cubes that would be authors can use to give their story a specific feel, such as mythic, enchanted, prehistoric... or even set in space!


What else?!

In addition, in larger projects, young Shakespearians will be invited to submit their short stories and have them exhibited on Imagination Gaming's website and shared by the libraries, promoting their success and the event itself... and there will be prizes for the judges favourites too!

This is an excellent and easily accessible way for newcomers to Shakespeare, old and young alike, to get creative, have fun, and begin to appreciate the fantastic story-lines at the heart of his work and their timeless appeal... and dig a little deeper.

This will be available as part of Imagination Gaming's popular games workshops, full of exciting card and board games with a cool twist for all ages.This offers a range of inspirational activities for children and families to participate in at a level to suit everyone.


If this or any of our other activities inspire you, contact us here and we'll see how we can help you too!



SHAKEspeare's Stories - Classes in Kirklees Libraries

As part of this year's Shakespeare Week celebrations, we took our specifically created 'SHAKEspeare's Stories' (click to read more) to Kirklees for a week.

Here we worked with the library service to host a series of primary school classes from the area, in the libraries, and challenge them to some themed story writing challenges and a bit of gaming too.

Each half-day session involved splitting one class into 2 groups for a bit of each to learn something new, have a bit of fun... and also a bit of competition!


Word Bits and Snake Oil, just two of the games we did aside from the story writing


By the end of the week we had hundreds of story sheets, all very different and unique, and containg some thrilling ideas and fantastic tales.

Every one of the completed stories is being put into a huge presentation book within each participating library so that the children can bring their friends and families to see there story, as well as it being available to all visitors with an interest.

On top of that we picked a couple of stories out from each class to show here on the website... more notoriety! That and a little prize for the winners of some Rory's Story Cubes sets to keep and continue making crazy stories with.

For once we weren't necessarily looking for the neatest, or the best spelling and punctuation ,(but we still expect them to try of course!) but more a spark of imagination or inspiration that made us take notice. On the day lots of these ideas started very interesting conversations and took us to very strange and intriguing places, but you can only fit so much onto one sheet of A4!

So here's some of our favourites... for lots of different reasons!

Upperthong Junior & Infants

Mrs Piatt's Y6 class

1st Place

2nd Place

Marsden Primary School

Mrs Adamson's Y6 class

1st Place

2nd Place

Mrs Wood's Y6 Class

1st Place

2nd Place

Holmfirth Junior & Infants

Y5 Class

1st Place

2nd Place

Mrs Stables' Y3 class _ TBC

1st Place

2nd Place


Mr Warrener's Y6 class _ TBC

1st Place

2nd Place


SHAKEspeare's Stories in Sheffield Libraries 2016

'Romeo & Juliet'

Natalya - Age 8 - Eccleshall Library


'To Try To Be King'

Emma - Age 12 - Crystal Peaks Library


'ABC and The Short Life Alien'

Julia - Age 10 - Stocksbridge Library


'The Apple Of Fate'

Sayad - Age 12 - Darnall Library


'The Time Juliet Found The Magic Mirror'

Emma - Age 7 - Crystal Peaks Library


Which Games Should You Play This Halloween?

It’s Halloween! While some of you may be wandering out into the darkness to frighten the living daylights out of your friends and build your sweet collection, there are others that may want a quiet night in with some spookily fun games! What better way to celebrate than having a look at some weird creature, monster-filled, ghostly games that you can play tonight? We hunted high and low and found some great games from a wide age range and ability level. Read on if you dare…

Spooky Stairs

Spooky Stairs (or it’s German name, Geistertreppe) is a fun and simple game to test your memory. A family of ghosts live at the top of the stairs, yet a group of brave children think they can make it there and tell the tale. However, it is very likely that they will eventually be consumed by a ghost... and you being the player must remember where your piece is!

There is a cool magnetic piece on the top of these courageous so-and-so’s, and another inside the ghost. Your playing piece will disappear and you’ll need to remember where it is for the rest of the game! Who will be the winner? 

City of Zombies/Times Square

This game and it’s expansion, Times Square, are brilliant maths games with a frightening Zombie theme. A horde of Zombies have attacked and only the quickest mathematicians will survive. Take out each Zombie at a time by using different maths strategies and special items, but beware… the longer you wait, the more Zombies will appear!

Times Square works in a similar way, but really helps you to brush up on your times tables. It won a Bronze Award for Best Maths Game in this year's Imagination Gaming Family and Education Awards! Very popular games in a number of settings, but let’s hope we never meet one of the things…

Monster Maths

Another Maths themed game which allows you to build a monster! Aimed at the younger ones, Monster Maths encourages ways of making 10, 20, 50 and 100 and by adding different amounts. The first player to build their monster from top to toe is the winner! Although, if you do win, should we be worried about your monster creating ability?!

A great little card game from Mathstraks, who seem to love a game involving magical, ‘mathical’ creatures! Do you have a favourite?

StoryCubes: Scooby Doo

Yes you heard correctly! The new addition to the StoryCubes collection is indeed Scooby Doo; just in time for Halloween. Roll the set of dice and create your own mystery. What crime will you solve? What monstrous creature is involved? You decide.

We can’t promise you a fancy Mystery Machine to go with it, but we can promise that your imagination will run wild creating your own spooky tale! How will yours end?

Keep your eyes peeled for more information...

Do you have a favourite game to play at Halloween that we've not mentioned? Or perhaps you've had a great experience with one of our games mentioned? Let us know!