5 Ways to Use Story Stones
Have you heard of story stones? Or maybe you’ve heard of them but don’t know how to use them?
As I was looking around Pinterest for no screen time activities (we cut our screen time this summer!), I kept coming across these fun painted rocks and I just knew I had to try them out. Rocks draw kids in, even plain ones! Add pictures or words on them, and kids of all ages can’t resist. They just feel good to pick up and move around!
I began to search around for how to use them in different ways and came up with 5 ways to use story stones so I thought I would share with you!
There are endless ways to use story stones! Here are 5 ways to use Story Stones to get you started:
1. Story Building – Start your story with any stone, you can either grab them as a surprise or lay them out and let your kids pick which one they want to use next.
Example; I pick up an apple, and I start my story with, “There once was a very special apple who didn’t want to be eaten.” Then pick another stone, and add on to your story! Say the second stone is an umbrella. I would add onto my apple story with, “The special apple carried around an umbrella to use like a shield anytime someone tried to take a bite out of her!” Continue to add as many stones as you like until your story is finished.
My kids like to take turns within the same story, building off of each other’s stories. It gets so goofy, they almost always end in laughing tears!
2. Color Sorting – For younger kids, challenge them by asking them to sort each stone by color. After you sort, you can count how many of each color you have, which one has the most, least, etc. I just love all the ideas from A Crafty Living. She has so many great examples of how they use their story stones. Aren’t they just gorgeous?
3. Book Reading – I have used a few books with our stones so far. We have a colors book that I use to encourage color sorting. Animal books can also be used, find the stone to match the animal on the page. You can even have them pick a stone to tell the story in the book. We have a sheep on one of our stones, and it would be so fun to have the sheep read a book about a sheep with us!
4. Adding to Nature – Fairy gardens would be a great way to take story stones outside, paint a few fairies and your kiddos can play with them out in the flowers and plants, then if they get left outside, it’s no big deal! Another idea is to write kind notes on a stone and leave them in parks for others to find. Such a cute little kindness activity for the kids! Story stones are also great additions to sensory bins of all types!
5. Word Building and Addition – Make a set of alphabet stones for word building or letter recognition! Putting numbers on your stones can help with homework or number learning. Look at these really cute examples! (Lady bug spot numbers, domino stones, numbers for homework help)
Let Your Kids Lead The Way!
Let your kids lead the way! How do they want to play with them? They might surprise you and come up with a new way you never thought of. Encourage them to get creative with what’s on the stone itself. Did you paint a water droplet for rain? Maybe it can be a tear of sadness or happiness! A Water droplet could be a drop of blue paint or the bath after the painter finishes her masterpiece.
Age will play a huge role in how your kids will like to play. I have an 8 year old, 6 year old, and an 18 month old. They all want to play in different ways!
Play According to Age
Finn, our 18 month old just likes to pick them up and move them, he likes to take them out of the bag that holds them, but them back in…over and over and over. He also has begun to hold one out and ask, “this?”. I love that he is learning some words as he plays! The stones that we used are large, he can grab them easily, and when he tests the limits by putting them in his mouth (which he HAS done!) they fill his whole mouth, giving me enough peace of mind that I know if he’s trying it. I always watch him closely as we play.
Olive, our 6-year-old, is still learning to read. I can not wait to make some alphabet stones so we can build words to go along with the stories she likes to create. Right now, her favorite way to play is to build a story one stone at a time. She loves the stone with a book on it, it’s her “Once Upon a Time” starter stone, every time!
Eli, our 8-year-old, is less adventurous in his imaginative play. I do love that these encourage that part of his play, it stretches him a bit and that’s great. He’s picked them up on his own several times, which I wasn’t expecting. I included the solar system rocks in our first set to give him a way to explore in a specific way. We looked up our solar system and he matched which rocks he thought represented each planet. He also lined them up in order and we discussed orbit, gravity, and atmosphere!
Build Your Collection
Start with a handful of rocks and paint or mod podge some images on them, you can start with anything! I made sure to have a girl and boy figure as our first two rocks and then just kept adding on. Soon, I’ll be posting a tutorial on how I made our story stones. Stay tuned!!
Continue building on your story stone collection. Here are some ideas just to get you started.
Does your toddler want to read the same book, over and over? Try creating a few stones to go with that book. You can even print out pictures and use mod podge!
Christmas Nativity (love these! from Rainy Day Mum), Easter, 4th of July, Birthday
First day of school, 4 Seasons, Birth of Sibling
Emojis, Fidget Spinners, Favorite TV or Movie Characters (mod podge and cutouts!)
Your Family, Cousins and Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents
Cars/Trucks, Buildings, Bikes
Trees, Flowers, Animals
Planets, Stars, Spaceships
Clouds, Lightning, Snow
Tent, Campfire, S’more
Book, Pencil, Ipad
Fruit, Veggies, Pizza
Upper, Lower, Cursive
Roman Numerals, Dominos, (+, -, *,/)
Hammer, Saw, Level
Birds, Farm, Zoo
States, Countries, Landmarks
Crown, Princess/Prince, Castle
Cross, Church Building, Praying Hands
I could go on and on, the best way to start is to pick what your kids are interested in and go from there! I’d love to hear: How would you play with story stones?