Story stones! Whether you buy these or make your own, story stones are a useful, reusable and easily transportable resource.
However, most toddlers are not yet at a stage where they can construct long or complex stories. This can lead to frustration, both for the child, and also for the adult who might feel that ‘they are not ready for this yet’.
So, here are 5 ideas to begin to use these resources to familiarise young children with the concept, whilst retain their interest and attention. These activities are a starting point, and, fairly soon, as they get used to these games, most children will start joining their ideas together to develop their own stories!
- Hide and seek. Simple, but a great way to familiarise children with the names of the objects on the stones and keep their attention!
- Which one is missing? This is a great way to develop a child’s memory, as well as widening their vocabulary. We just started with 4 stones, and played with them first before I took one away and Little has to guess which one was missing.
- Free play. Often, if I pretend I am not listening, this is when Little begins to create his own stories. Sometimes if I comment or ask him questions about his game, he goes quiet or shakes his head at me. So sometimes, just by lurking and listening, I know that he is using the stones to build his own stories!
- Adding another resource. These stones are so versatile. If Little is getting bored of playing them at the table, we add something else to the mix: model animals, a piece of fabric, a cardboard box. By putting the stones on a large piece of paper, you could write and draw around them, adding mark-making or letter learning to the activity.
- Change of scene. Have we played with these outside, in the sandpit, in the mixing tray, grass, taken them to the park, to grandma’s house to show her, set them up in a line along the bathroom floor… sometimes a change of scene can give any resource a new lease of life!
Cost: Stones: free- found in the garden,
Paint: free- already in our craft box.
Do you use story stones? What activities do your under 5’s enjoy?