Tips to making Story Stones

Making Story Stones

Let your imagination run wild when creating story stones! There are almost endless amounts of ways to use them with equally endless amounts of ways to decorate and create them. Below are some suggestions to help get you started. Click here for more examples and insights into using story stones.

Types of Stones 

Any color, shape, size will work. If you are gluing images to the stone, a smooth rock might work better. If a stone is going to be painted, feel free to incorporate the shape of the rock into your design.  Use the shape or texture of the stone to inspire the image or how you use the rock.  If the rock has a rough spot on it, maybe that can be the sand in a picture of a beach. Some stones have natural stripes and striations, try to integrate those stripes and patterns.  

Landscaping stores and hardware stores often have inexpensive stones for sale that come in a variety of colors and textures. Stones called “river rocks” will be the smoothest. If your school has rocks outside the building and it is ok to take a few, have the children in your class go on a “rock hunt” and pick their own rocks to decorate. 

How to Decorate 

These are a few suggestions to get you started. The sky’s the limit! Make sure to include the children in the process.

Prepping your stone

It is best to wash and dry the stone first if it is dirty. Some people like to paint their stones white or another solid color so that the image is clear and they have a canvas-like background to work with.  

Paint

Paint pens work really well to decorate stones. Paint used with brushes, sponges, stencils, and stamps work well too. You’ll want to get a waterproof, permanent paint so that the stones can be used outside or even in your water table. 

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Examples shown here are created by using paint, paint pens and stickers

Paper Images/Stickers

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A great option in creating story stones is to glue images directly onto the stones. You can find pictures from magazines, the internet and even use your favorite stickers. 

Textures

Textured stones offer a sensorial experience for children. Think about adding sand, small sticks, grass, leaves to the stones. 

Alternatives to Stones

There are great alternatives to stones that can be used to create a similar effect. Wood slices or tree cookies as they are sometimes called, work well.  Jar tops are an inexpensive and great option as well. 

Finishing Your Stone 

If you use paper, stickers, or textures on your stone you will want to use modge podge or a finishing spray to waterproof your stone and to ensure the decoration stays. 

Intention

As I said earlier, story stones can be used in endless ways. When making story stones, you should consider a wide variety of themes, topics and images. If you are making story stones with faces or people on them, make sure  to create stones showing diversity in: skin color, age, gender, and ability. Stones can be created to support topics such as math, social/emotional themes, science, literacy, and social stories.  

Math

  • Numbers, shapes, compare/contrast, ordering/sequencing, grouping (think of the Sesame Street game, “One of these things is not like the other”), telling time (clocks), patterns, directions, maps, spacial practice: use arrows to decorate the stones to create a series of directions
    • Examples: ladybugs with different numbers of dots on them; silly monsters with different numbers of horns, eyes etc.

Social/Emotional

  • Stones with different faces showing different emotions

Science

  • Create stones showing different kinds of weather, plants, animals

Digital Media and Reading

After G.N.P., the quantity of books in one’s home was the most important predictor of reading performance…The implications are clear: Owning books in the home is one of the best things you can do for your children academically. It helps, of course, if parents are reading to their children and reading themselves, not simply buying books by the yard as décor.

An interesting article, Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves , discussing the effect the loss of physical media as in books, newspapers, music (records, CDs, tapes) has on our opportunity to discover, share and learn using that media.