Story Snippets…with Clever Octopus

Our Story Snippets series delves into moments that have brought delight to us with Story Crossroads.  This is a first of several to come on this blog.

For our 4th Annual Story Crossroads Festival on May 15, 2019, we wanted more hands-on story opportunities for people.  This meant materials.  This meant materials we did not have yet.  Thankfully, we received some materials needing a purpose through a Mini-Grant from Clever Octopus, a nonprofit creative reuse center.

We gathered boxes of wood blocks from Clever Octopus that Kurt Munson sawed and sanded so that small to large hands could handle them with care.  Then,  Spencer Thompson cut pieces of felt to glue on the blocks so that these turned into mini flannel boards.

We were thrilled when Clever Octopus also had tons of scrapbook felt embellishments in the form of frogs, lizards, fish, whales, starfish, seahorses, snakes, planes, and basketballs.  Each family that came by could take 3-4 blocks so that these characters (4 in a package) could roam on these blocks, interact with each other, and create stories for all to celebrate.  Extra bits of felt could be used to decorate the story blocks to add to the scenery.  The day of the Festival was super windy so we had to hang onto the felt.  Thank goodness that wooden blocks have some weight to them!

After the Festival, there were leftover felt characters so we transformed them into another story project at our 4th Annual Youth Teller Reunion on July 13, 2019.

Every year we have about 30 youth tellers and we have had 99 youth tellers on stage so far.  We gather for our Youth Teller Reunion at Boondocks in Draper, Utah.  Once youth tell at our event, they are always part of the Story Crossroads Family.  We had a youth teller attend the 2019 Reunion that told at our Inaugural event in 2016.  Some youth tellers are now in college.

We kick-off with a storytelling performance by the Executive Director, Rachel Hedman.  She never tells during the Festival itself as she has too much to oversee and do.  Though, she looks forward to telling stories for the youth.  She started storytelling as a sophomore in high school and celebrated 25 years in the art exactly this month and year.

Finally, story games are played and we work on a story project or craft.

We had the youth tellers and families take some blue cardstock (one paper per person). They chose where to place three long cuts.  This time, the embellished felt characters  were stuck onto Popsicle sticks so that they could move within the cut slots or jump to another slot.  The cardstock itself was decorated as a scene for the story.

We had preschool-aged kids to college-aged kids engaged with these cardstock story scenes.  Although people had many of the same characters, the adventures were varied from plane crashes to basketball champions to hungry snakes and on and on.  Combine these together…and the story possibilities were endless.  Still are to this day.

Could you tell a story…or a story snippet from the pictures?

Check out our previous post of thankfulness to Clever Octopus by clicking here.

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