Story stones boost children's imaginations
Using story stones emblazoned with pictures of girls and boys, trees and the beach, and cats and dogs, the children at Goodstart Middle Park are learning how to become expert story tellers.
Story stones are flat smooth stones, either black, grey or white, that can be illustrated with animals or characters.
Pictures are painted or stuck on and they are then used as story aides where the children select stones from a basket and start a story based on the picture they have chosen.
The story continues as each child selects a stone.
Goodstart Middle Park early childhood teacher Caitlin Westphal said the team had been using the story stones since July this year and had noticed an increasing confidence amongst the children.
“At the beginning, the children immediately took to these stones but initially had little idea of how to effectively use them,” Ms Westphal said. “This was interesting to see their different interpretations of how the children wanted to play with these. Throughout the back half of the year we have sat in groups and made stories, funny stories, sad stories, crazy stories.”
Storytelling can help enhance your child’s imagination and vocabulary. It can encourage creativity, increases vocabulary and can help with communication and listening skills. It’s also a great way to get children to problem solve and see through the eyes of others.
She said the educators introduced the story stones into daily planning by listening to the children’s play and interaction.
“These can be introduced to a large group setting or amongst a group of friends,” she said. “We notice that often smaller groups are now going off and getting the stones by themselves to tell stories based on what they’re read in books or what’s going on around them.”
The children create the names, the setting and the characters and the educators help with the stories.
“The play encourages children to work together as a team, for them to listen and observe their peers’ direction of the story.
“It helps with comprehension and children are encouraged to develop their imagination throughout this play, for them to develop their public speaking ability and to ensure their voices are heard.”
Story stones can also be used as food in the play kitchen, animals in a farm play setting or characters in a doll house. You could even use them for sorting activities.
To make story stones:
- Find materials with prints on them and cut them out to stick on to the stones. Magazines and old books are also ideal for finding images.
- Stick the pictures on to similar-sized stones with some Mod Podge which you can find at craft shops.
- Varnish with Mod Podge.
- Make sure they are dry before putting them in to a basket for storing.
And if you don’t want to make your own, visit www.etsy.com/au/market.story_stones
Birth to five
, Early learning
, Fun Activities
, Kindergarten & Preschool