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Resources & Activities

Story Stones for creative storytelling

Story Stones are a creative way to share stories with children, and also encourage them to join in with the storytelling themselves!

Inviting Imagination
Connecting With Communication
stones painted with story characters
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Since the beginning of time, and in all corners of the world, storytelling has played a prominent part in children’s lives. From fairytales to family stories, myths and legends, stories are a way to foster imagination, support language development and communication, learn about culture, and nurture children’s emotional wellbeing. 

Books are commonly used to tell stories, but telling stories without books allows children to really boost their imagination! By creating your own Story Stones, the possibilities are endless and the only thing holding you back is your imagination! Giving children the opportunity to create and share their own stories is also a powerful way to help children work through their feelings, and process what is happening in their world.

Materials needed

  • School glue (PVA/Elmer’s glue)
  • Smooth sided stones 
  • Paint or marker pens
  • For those who feel less artistic, try using stickers on the rocks, or gluing cut out pictures on instead

How to

  1. Wash any mud off the stones and be sure to check for cracked or sharp edges
  2. Draw, paint or glue images onto your stones
  3. “Wash” with school glue, leaving to dry before coats to create a glossy finish

Teaching strategies

  • Encourage children to be the storytellers, either making up stories, or reliving something that happened
  • Create a wide range of images, so that storytelling can be rich and varied
  • Create “people” stones that represent different cultures and ages so that children can create unique family or friend groups in their stories 
  • Use the stones to tell social stories, stories that help children process social understanding and prepare for situations that give them anxiety
  • Create “sets” of story stones - classic fairytales, favourite books, life events such as moving house, starting school or the birth of a new sibling
  • Some children may be a bit hesitant to use the story stones at first. Provide visual cues, having photos of different stories that can be told with the stones
  • Encourage turn-taking stories, where everyone tells the story by taking a new stone, and providing their own twist to the group story
  • Role model using expressive language, and different voices
  • Storytelling can be silent too! Tell a story without words and ask the children to tell you what they think happened in the story?
  • Ask questions to deepen children’s thinking - What happened next? How do you think he/she felt when that happened? Who else can be in this story?

Learning outcomes

  • Curiosity and playfulness
  • Confidence to speak in a group
  • Language and communication
  • History and culture
  • Expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings
  • A love of stories - recreating and revisiting previous stories
  • Imagining and inventing 
  • Emotional regulation

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