Making story stones in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on August 28, 2011

in DIY, Story Stones, Story Stones, Story Telling

I love the idea of making and using story stones and thought it would be a fun project for my pre-k class to make…

We started by taking a little nature walk and collecting stones. Ideally, you want to find stones that are going to be large enough for decent sized pictures but not so big that it is too heavy for the children to easily carry and explore…

Once the stones are collected, they need a good washing…

Then they need to be dried…

While the stones were drying, we cut out pictures from a variety of magazines…

We didn’t worry about trying to find any particular types of pictures but the size of the pictures mattered. The pictures can’t be too big or they wont fit on the stone…

Once the pictures were all cut out and the rocks were dry, we brushed some Mod-Podge on the tops of the stones…

Then added a picture from our pile..

And brushed more Modge Podge on top of the pictures. You can put the Modge Podge on generously because it will dry clear…

After the Modge Podge dried, we added Mod-Podge to the other side of the stones. And after they all dried, we saved them in a baggie…

And the rest of this story (what to do with the story stones) will be coming up soon…

In the meantime, check out…

Table Top Rock Art” by the Chocolate Muffin Tree

“Rock with Chalk” by Almost Unschoolers

Melted Hot Rocks by Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning

Rock Art by Mommy Moment

Rock Rumble by Not Just Cute

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1 Cat August 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Very cute idea! I think the kids would really enjoy this!

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Yes – the children enjoy making them and we played some games with them too!

3 Mommy Moment August 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Thank-you for including a link from Mommy Moment! Rocks are so much fun.


4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 11:08 pm

You are very welcome :)

5 heather August 29, 2011 at 2:55 am

i made these for my son after seeing them on a website called red bird crafts… and he absolutely loves them! i really like your idea of using pictures and letting the kids really be a part of the process. it’s amazing how many different ways my son will use these… not just for stories, but as characters in his play, as parts of his pretend play (grabbing the stone with a key to open a door…)… he’s even used all of them as blueberries for when playing with some pretend food.

aren’t their little imaginations just wonderful?!?

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 8:29 am

Yes they are! I think the rocks are perfect for all types of play!

7 Emily Neuburger September 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for the shout-out, Heather! It is so cool to see so many people making Story Stones! xo Emily (Red Bird Crafts)

8 Linda August 29, 2011 at 8:26 am

I just bought a children’s book from the bookdepository called “If You Find a Rock” by Peggy Christian. I saw it on an ECE blog somewhere but I am not sure which one. This book would be perfect to go with this activity. It talks about different rocks you find and their uses; the skipping rock, the wishing rock etc. The last page is just gorgeous. “If you find a rock – a rock that’s not…. (all of the rocks in the book. I won’t list them) …but you like it anyway, because it reminds you of a place, or a feeling, or someone important – then you have found a memory rock, and sometimes those are the best rocks of all.”

9 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 8:28 am

Thank you for the book recommendation – I will have to get me that book!!

10 Amber August 29, 2011 at 11:00 am

I also thank you for the book recommendation. Going to check our local library system to see if they have it or can get this book to check it out.

11 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I hope it is available for you Amber:)

12 Brandi Mendham August 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

Can you please share your recipe for modge podge? :)

13 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe – I purchased the Modge Podge from a store but you might be able to use any type of glue that dries clear.

14 Chris August 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

Lovely. Will be trying this. They could be used in so many ways….

15 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

That’s great Chris!

16 Amber August 29, 2011 at 10:58 am

Thanks! This is an idea I’m sure to use this fall. I’ve considered doing themed pictures w/ modge podge on rocks for counting manipulatives but I do love the idea of “story rocks”. I’m always trying to find a way to encourage verbal communication. I think I might create a “stencil” to put over pictures to help the children decide if the picture will be too big or not. Hmmm! :-)

17 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm

You are really thinking now – We just slapped on the pictures whether they fit or not :)

18 Elissa August 30, 2011 at 12:41 am

Hi! I totally love this idea, I have even started to collect pictures and stones, however I am in australia and have no clue what kind of glue mod-podge is as I have not heard of it, is it the same as PVA or woodglue? I love all your great Ideas and advice, I look forward to seeing your facebook posts on my wall every day!

19 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Hmmmm, I am not sure what Mod Podge is similar too. It is like Elmers glue in texture only it dries completely clear. You can learn more about this product here…

20 Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree August 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Just noticed you mentioned me here! Thanks! Great Rock ideas! I would like to do the Hot Rocks soon!

21 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I want to try those too – along with about a million other ideas!!

22 Eve Morreale September 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Yesterday I went out to pick some stones and bought a can of mod podge. I stayed up late to work on the stones. I was only able to use 5 stones as the rest were too small for my pictures. Today, I used them with a group of 4 year-olds. Oh boy! We had so much fun with the stones. At the end of the session, we even brainstormed on what pictures should be included in our next session. Thank you so much for sharing and highlighting all these creative teaching ideas.

23 Darcey September 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for another great post. This looks like a fun way to get the kids involved in story telling. I’ve linked up to your post here: Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

24 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thank you Darcey! You are always so gracious!

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