Kids Activity: Story Stones

Sunday, 13 September 2015

I've been wanting to make these for aaaaaaaaages. I think I pinned them when Jellybean was about six months old! The basic idea of story stones is that they help with children's language development and communication. Essentially: they are stones with things painted on them.

I guess you could use other things for this kind of activity. Squares of card with pictures printed on would probably be easier. But there's something so nice about the stones, maybe because they're more permanent - less likely to get broken/bent/chewed/drawn on.

Anyway, the idea behind these is to help children to tell stories - a really basic foundation, learning that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Through these stories, you can talk about all sorts of things: moral issues, problem solving, how to complete basic day-to-day activities.

I see these as a parent-led thing. I like to sit down with Jellybean and introduce them as a quiet activity for the two of us. Usually I let her play with them afterwards on her own and it's cute to watch her repeating the stories I just made up for her.

I put them in a little box too. There's something about boxes and bags that toddlers really like (okay. Not just toddlers). I think it's the element of mystery ;)

Sometimes we pull out the stones one at a time, sometimes we dump them all out onto the floor and look at them all at once.

Even just from a viewpoint of practising words, it is good. Jellybean knows lots of words but sometimes only Chris and I can understand her. So I can get her to practice them!

It turns out I am rubbish at making up stories on the spot so my stories have mostly been about various animals getting on and off the bus, or getting stuck up a tree and having to rescue each other. Jellybean got them straight away though. It was quite cute watching her mimic the stories afterwards. 'Tank oo, dog, helping me stuck up a tree!' 'You're welcome!' (and then apparently they have to kiss. She added that bit herself. Unsure as to whether or not that is a good sign).

I am one of these people that are vaguely creative/crafty but a bit rubbish at drawing/painting. There are a few stones that I've had to paint over and start again (you should have seen my attempt at an egg. I think Chris actually laughed at it. To be fair it was ridiculous). I used acrylic paints, which I got from Amazon, similar to these ones. I will probably use these for crafty things in the future so I felt it was justified ;)

I painted a few of these whilst watching telly one evening and then the rest I painted with Chris and Ellie on a rainy day. I gave her a few stones to paint on (using her own very washable paint, obvs. I ruined a jumper in the making of these stones because I dipped my sleeve in acrylics. Turns out, it doesn't come out. EVER.) and then I got on with painting them. Chris ended up joining in and he is annoyingly good at painting. We did some vehicles, insects, a dog and a cat, and some everyday objects, as well as some concepts, like night time and rainy. Chris painted some faces to represent different emotions and I did some autumn ones (pumpkin, hedgehog, squirrel, pinecone that looked like something from a horror film and got chucked in the bin) The problem is when you start, you think of more and more things to paint. 

I find it very relaxing. Like grown-up colouring books but a bit weirder. ;)

I've seen other ways of making these stones: using pictures cut out of magazines, stuck on and then covered in PVA glue (does anyone else hear Neil Buchanan's voice when they read the words 'PVA glue'?!) which is probably an easier way to do it.

I've also seen them used for other things: letters to spell out words, numbers, making funny faces. I've even seen a Nativity story set (WHICH I AM SO GOING TO DO. Only I might use the picture/glue combo for that. If I can't competently paint an egg I might have problems painting a wise man).

Story Stones. FTW.

Anyway. Gotta go and paint more of them ;)


Here are a few links to give you more ideas:

Paint on the Ceiling has some lovely painted ones.

Happy Hooligans makes them with cut out pictures and glue.

These are cute: Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar story stones

You can also buy them on Etsy if you have money but no time or painting skills. Camping themed set/story stone starter set/outer space set

I think they would make a cute Christmas present for a little one. Bought or home made!

Do you like the idea of these? Have you made/used them before? Comments appreciated as always :)

1 comment:

  1. Story stones are a great activity which will grow with your child. Looks like jellybean is enjoying them and learning too.
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids


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