For the last couple of years every family holiday has also included a holiday game. This year, I thought I’d take some extra notes so I could share the kind of stories we make up using the Amazing Tales rules.
We’d been on holiday in Scotland for a week when I picked up a pad of paper and started to sketch a map. ‘Is that for making up a story Dad?’ was the question. It was, and at the top of the paper I’d written
‘Magical Scotland Long Ago’
Why did I write that? Well we were in Scotland, and in addition to visiting lots of castles on our holiday the kids had recently watched a lot of Horrible History shows. So ‘Long Ago’ gave them a vague sense of a medieval period. And magical was in the title because everything is better with magic.
Then it was on to the map. I drew some mountains and hills and then asked the kids what we should have on our map. We very quickly got a castle and a cathedral like the ones we’d visited the previous week. We got a village, mountains, woods and rivers. The kids wanted a beach, so we added one, along with an island off the coast and some cliffs. Then we started naming things.
The castle became ‘Andrew’s Castle’ – because the castle we’d seen had been in St Andrews. This also led to a discussion about who the king was, and King Andy was created. The kids told me he was a young king, but not a child. The cathedral was named St Bangs. One feature the kids wanted added to the castle was a zoo, I think inspired by our visit to Scotland’s National Deer Centre. King Andy’s Zoo of Magical Creatures was created, and would turn out to be very important.
The town between the castle and the lake was called King’s Loch. Then we named the various woods. The kids had demanded that one wood have scary trees, and this was named ‘Witch’s Wood’, and the tower in the centre of it was ‘Monster Tower’. The other woods were named Owl Wood and Fox Forest. The mountains I’d drawn at the back of the map were named Bigfoot Mountain, Climbing Mountain and Falcon Mountain. Feeling that we were missing a mountain with a cave Lisa added Nightmare Mountain.
The last wood was called Rover’s Wood. Since the kids are both Dutch/English bilingual it’s worth pointing out that rover is the Dutch word for bandit. So ‘Bandit’s wood’. The river that started in the mountains was called Mountain Side river, and the one that started in the hills was called Hillfall River.
And that was about it. The kids went off to help make dinner while I filled in the remaining place names. Mermaid Beach – Lisa loves Mermaids – , Wrecker’s Cliffs, the castle and village of Fairview, a Lonely Tower above the cliffs, and a Misty Isle off the coast.
And that was it. Total time, maybe 20 minutes.
Notes : Coming up with the map helped the kids really get into the Fantasy Vibe of the game. Looking at it now the only really remarkable thing on it is King Andy’s Zoo for Magical Beasts. I was happy the kids wanted the Witch’s Wood and Monster Tower on there, previous games have suffered a bit from them not wanting anything scary in the game, but if you ask for scary trees and a tower full of monsters, well, it’s pretty clear we’re in for an exciting time.