After a fun time 'rock collecting' with my friends at the coast a few weeks ago (feels like a lifetime ago already!), I already had in mind what I wanted to do with some of those beautiful smooth little rocks.... make story stones! I've seen these around a bit on the interwebz, such as on the charming My Little Bookcase blog and love the way they encourage children to create their own stories in a really natural and classic style.
The concept is pretty self-explanatory - (but I will clarify anyway!) - it involves drawing (or gluing if you want to use cut-out pictures) basic story elements on to stones. This allows children to freely create their own tales using the stones as props, guides and inspiration. Such a simple concept but so ripe for creative play. And something about using stones in all their natural glory just makes this little activity full of added tactile, sensory goodness :)
So, the kids and I chose a few stones each and set to work! I had picked up a Sharpie Paint Pen from Bunnings (it's applied really well on the stone). We discussed first what things we thought would make fun elements in a story, before making our rather permanent additions. We drew designs on both sides of the rocks for double the fun ;) It was pretty fun for me too, I must admit, I could have drawn all day!!
I might get some glaze type thing to seal them at some point... mmmm, maybe (eg probably never going to happen!)
|Oh, I also used some of the stones for herb markers for our veggie patch - in case you are wondering what role Chives will play in the kid's stories, haha!|
|Another day, another Story Stone added to the rock pile. 'I'm really good at castles' Lily said with utter confidence!|
The response to these simple stones has been amazing, actually. I wasn't sure how much they would truly play and engage with them (one can never tell with these things!), but simply having them set out on the playtable has been invitation enough. Over the past couple of weeks, I often spot them sitting at the table at intervals through the day and overhear little snippets of stories being created... it's wonderful! Creative, simple, child-led goodness :) It is so charming to hear their understanding of 'story structure' emerge... the rapid fire conclusions always make me chuckle the most!
|Eli engaged in some very intense story telling...|
|I will let you discern who drew what!! ;)|
It was a fun and simple activity which has resulted in some new props for creative play in our home. Who knows how else they may be used over the years... well, Miles desperately wants to use them as projectiles, but hasn't managed to toss them too far yet ;)