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The Haribo story-telling method (it might just save your life on your next long trip)

hariboA looooong drive up the M6 today to visit Grandma near Manchester, but I have a secret weapon. Gone are the days when World War III would break out on the back seat while I was negotiating the roadworks near Sandbach: on a trip a few years back I stumbled upon the Haribo storytelling method and it has served us well ever since. 

First of all, buy one of those sharing packs of Haribo. Starmix is our usual, but today we discovered a Tropical Mix which opened up a whole new dimension in the game. It's important not to let the little angels eat the entire pack immediately because the game will be over before it's begun, and also because you don't want to be cleaning vomit off the seats on the hard shoulder near Birmingham. 

Each child gets 3 Haribo, drawn at random. They then have two minutes to think of the start of a story that will feature all three of the characters or items in front of them. 

Then we take it in turns to tell our stories, making them as elaborate and as dramatic as possible. There is much use of pacy dialogue, surrealism and black comedy (since all the characters generally end up getting eaten). Each story takes at least 5 minutes in the telling, sometimes up to 20, and then there is the critical response from the other occupants of the car. 

Today we had a turtle with a need for speed who discovered a wish-granting statue with just one wish left who pointed out that even being slow was better than being stuck to a plinth, and who after long consideration ended by wishing for a racing car that never ran out of fuel with controls adapted for turtle use and a passenger seat adapted to accommodate a statue. They zoomed up and down the dust roads together gleefully until one day they were tragically captured and eaten, car, turtle and statue in one enormous bite, by a terrible monster...

After that there was the elephant and a greedy, sabre-toothed platypus who couldn't agree to share the lake, so while the platypus slept the elephant quietly siphoned up the lake and deposited it elsewhere, leaving the platypus marooned on a log in a sea of mud. That of course left him exposed to the monster who happened to come by and ate him up in one bite, deaf to his pleas for mercy... 

And my personal favourite, the dinosaur who explained to a curious hippopotamus how he had survived the meteor strike because he'd been diving for the deepest, most succulent pondweed at the moment of impact, and who'd discovered a bottle of coca cola by the water's edge on resurfacing which had - through a complex chemical reaction generated by the force of the strike and the incredible heat - transmuted into an elixir granting immortality. Until they were both eaten by a... you get the picture.

Each story-telling session begins at the top of the hour. Thus can one pack of Haribo last a 3.5-hour journey with top-quality entertainment and a great workout for young creative minds. As my son, 9, said: 'I love the way you don't know what the story's going to be, but then you start telling it and it just sort of happens.'

I love it too. 

This entry was posted on 15 April 2017 at 16:45 and is filed under Other | creativity. You can leave a response here.

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