Inspire your kids by making up a bed-time story

Read about the story jar   Start a story

How about making up a bed-time story about…

The queen and the prince

With a character called
Shao

After Shao Liang (邵良)

Another story idea…   Record this
What is this about?

What is a
Story Jar?

Hello, I’m Stef. In our home we have a jar. It’s filled with pieces of paper. On each piece of paper is written a title of a story. A story that is yet to be told.

We call it the story jar. Every home should have one.

When my children go to bed at night, sometimes I pluck a story title from the jar and just make something up. It’s become one of my favourite things to do, and my children love the stories I make up for them.

Recently I’ve been recording the stories and I’ve had friends tell me how much they enjoy listening to the things I make up. Here’s an example: “The Hooters and the Shushers”.

Today, writing this, I’m at the Tate Modern today for their first ever Hack Day. Artists and technologists are collaborating around artistic works and data over a twenty four hour period.

My idea, my tiny one-day hack is this — the Story Jar. Here’s why.

'Sunflower Seeds' by Ai Weiwei, Tate Modern Turbine Hall

In 2008 there was an earthquake in Sichuan, China in which many people, particularly young students, lost their lives. The artist and activist Ai Weiwei investigated and uncovered substandard buildings had lead to many unnecessary deaths.

He gathered a list of the names of those children, published it and produced a number of artworks and performances based on it. For this, he was beaten by the authorities, to the point where he suffered head injuries sufficient to hospitalise him.

I've just been given that list. Over 5000 children’s names. It made hard reading. I realised that we remember people through stories, so this is my response to his work.

  • Pluck a random story title from the jar
  • Record yourself telling your story
  • Include the name of one of the children from Ai Weiwei’s list in the story
  • Upload it here

Pluck a story from the jar

Made with ❤ by Stef at the Tate Modern