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Keeping Them Entertained: Story Stones and Storytelling

Stories have been passed on for years and years, expanding legacies upon legacies, time after time, again and again. 

Storytelling has transcended through time and plays a major role in history as we know it.  Listening to and telling stories helps us connect to each other’s hearts and minds; they allow us into the most intricate parts of our beings while encouraging us to be, sometimes unknowingly, creative and very vulnerable.  

Have you ever watched your child play and before you know it, they are whipping up a story while acting it out through pretend play? You are seeing their minds in motion.  Much of how and what they play depends on what they hear and see.  They are able to express their experiences through that pretend play, both their passions and joys as well as fears and worries.  Just watching your child play can really help you get to know their hearts a wee bit more than you had previously.

But what if your child isn’t a storyteller?  What if they’re introverted and not really into that whole attention thing?  What if they’re not well versed in sequencing events or parts of speech or connecting ideas?  What if they are but you aren’t?  First – that’s ok!  Your child was uniquely and wonderfully made just as they are and I am POSITIVE they have incredible gifts.  Second – you can still have fun with your wee one while exploring those topics through a child led lesson by making THE EASIEST CRAFT EVER…

Enter: STORY STONES.

I am not a Pinterest Mama.  I don’t have the patience because I want things to be done yesterday and I’m creative when it’s my own thing, my own idea, and in my own time.  I saw these story stones, though, and KNEW that they were fail proof and the teacher in me literally jumped for joy.  Story stones are excellent because they allow shyer kids to put the emphasis and attention on an object while taking it off of themselves, thus participating and engaging with their peers in a skills strengthening way. It encourages and fosters imagination and creativity. It presents chances to work on problem solving, perspective, sequences, connecting ideas, fine motor skills (peeling stickers and placing them), all while connecting their little hearts to yours.  Does anyone else feel like they’re winning right now?  Because I do. 

 

 

Materials:

  • River rocks – stones that are smooth and semi-flat.
  • Stickers that are flat (paper stickers work best!) or paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrushes
  • Old towel or sheet 

Kids of any age can participate.  We had six kids, ranging from 12 months to 6 years old, and all of them had a great time.  Moms helped the little babes but mostly the babies “oo’d and aah’d” over the rocks and then walked to their older siblings to hand them more rocks.  The older kids happily adorned their stones with stickers, while laughing and talking about them.  (We chose stickers, but they can also paint them instead to create the their own designs.) They took a 15 minute break to play and then came back to paint the stickers with Mod Podge.  Craft done.  Moms got to chat.  We were mighty and deserve all the Mom Trophies. 

So…how do you use them?

The possibilities are really endless but here are just a few ideas:

  1. Use the story stones to elicit dramatic play.  Set 3-5 stones out and have kids act out the sequence using the stones as a visual guide.
  2. Put them in a bucket and have each child pick a stone from the bucket.  Each child adds a piece to the story by talking about their stone.  Youngest goes first!
  3. Place stones on a table and have your child tell you a story using the same method as above but on their own.  
  4. Have kids sort the stones by characters, setting, objects, colors, etc. 
  5. Let children do their own thing!   They’ll go to town with their storytelling.  Let them!

Leaving you with crafty inspiration and guaranteed success,

Allie D.

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