Story stones are very quick and simple to make and the beauty is that you can make them for any favourite book. As we plan to visit Howletts Zoo this coming weekend I decided to keep on the animal theme, and chose the book Walking through the Jungle by Julie Lacome. If you haven’t come across it before its a simple book that follows a small boy discovering different jungle animals and the noises they make. It really is a lovely book as it has bright illustrations which Monkey has always loved as well as a wonderful rhyming story. Its a great addition for children who are learning their animal noises.
To make these stones or similar you will need:
- Pebbles or stones – Last time we were at the beach I picked up some pebbles specifically looking for ones which were reasonably smooth, flat and oval in shape. Its actually harder than you imagine!
- PVA glue or Mod Podge
- Old paint brush
- Pictures of your characters, for older children you could paint pictures onto the stones, for Monkeys age and my artistic ability pictures from the book definitely worked better
I wanted the pictures to match those in the story so I scanned the pages of the book onto the computer and saved them as photos. I then cropped them to show only the animal faces, before transferring them into a word document to print. This also meant that I could reduce the size of them down to match the size of the pebbles.
After cutting them out Monkey matched them to the pebbles – he was very particular about using one of the smallest stones I had picked up….
Monkey put glue under the picture and then all over the top of the picture so that it keeps the edges down. It also acts like a varnish and makes the stones even more tactile. Its a bit fiddly and you do end up getting covered in glue but thats part of the fun from a three year olds perspective.
Here are ours waiting to dry:
Once dry we read the book with the Story Stones so that Monkey could match the characters.
I am hoping that it will help with his story telling, as he’s not at the reading stage but will be able to make the animal noises and tell the story in his own words with the stones. Its a great way to bring a book alive. Also we can incorporate these stones into other stories, either with other stones we have made for other books. Or stones we have made specifically as story telling props such as a castle, mountain, crown etc.. the list is endless!