Stones. Rocks. Pebbles. Boulders.
I love them. I don’t know why but I do. And I always have.
I love to see kids proudly tuck them in pockets. It reminds me of my “lucky hopscotch rock” I kept for months in my pocket.
I love to create and craft with them. I especially love to paint on them (a favorite I used to do with my mom and later with my kids).
But one of my favorite’s is to create story stones.
Using (free) rocks and a simple black marker, you can create a variety of children’s favorite objects or people and let them line them up and then create a story based on the order they created.
I recently did this with my cousin’s son. He is just 3 years old but is creative, articulate, and thoughtful and was pretty fascinated by the “game.” He made me tell about 10 different stories based on the various arrangements of rocks he laid down. When I asked him to take a turn, he wasn’t quite ready, but a short while later, I found him creating his own story with his special rocks for his Papap (who just woke up and wasn’t sure what was going on!).
I love story stones because they are simple, cheap, build vocabulary, help focus attention to task, and are fun! As a child gets older or understands the process of the “game,” stones can easily be added to develop more complex plots and details. And you can search for the perfect stones on walks and hikes! This is a great activity to introduce around 15 months but may be especially meaningful as a child’s vocabulary increases rapidly between 2-3 years old.
This story went something like…..
Once Thomas the Train had a best friend, a little boy named Gabriel. Gabriel loved trucks and cars. He lived in a house with his mom and dad and baby brother and their dog named Ethan (he filled in this detail!). One sunny day Gabriel and Ethan went on a walk and chased birds at the park.
Simple. Easy. Fun. and a purposeful way to play.
Try exploring new mileSTONES today with story stones — and send us your pictures. We’d love to hear from your little authors!
For more ideas of pairing milestones with with purposeful play, grab your copy of 1-2-3 Just Play With Me today! (As always FREE Shipping in the US).