Have you heard of story stones?
Below are some of our ideas for story stones, the benefits of introducing them with your child and some links to more inspiration. We have made them before, click here to check them out.
4 Benefits of story stonesThey are a great tool for story telling that enable the freedom and creativity of a child's imagination and can also help with problem solving and learning.
This time around I made the story stones with some sharpie permanent markers instead of paint.
I made one set as a gift for one of Dimples Lovely little friends, any time she is visiting she loves tinkering with his story stones so with her up coming 4th Birthday Miss K will now have her own unique set.
|Miss K's Birthday gift Story stones.|
Story telling for early literacy skillsReading, sharing stories, nursery rhythms and singing together with your child/ren is an easy way to help form the foundation of early literacy skills. By 3 years most children have learnt the process of story telling; sequencing events, forming characters, actions and places. This helps spark a child's imagination and gets them talking about what they see, think, feel and understand about the world.
Through story telling they learn whats make believe from real life and can explore fears and problem solving for real life experiences. This is a good opportunity for children to develop a sense of empathy and it can also serve to promote real life problem solving skills and distinguish between what is real and what is make believe.
So basically story telling promotes language, literacy, and brain development by helping children become familiar with the basics of language, sounds and words. Story telling can also lend itself as a safe way to explore fears, strong feelings and fantasy. We have quite a few in our collection now. We use them not only for stories, but to match or sort them into group (eg. vehicles, animals, feelings).
Story telling to help children with changeIf you have been reading my blog you may know that I am expecting number 2 in March. Dimples has been really sweet about it and loves the idea but I have been told to expect a change when he is taken off his throne and has a little sisters cries to compete with. So when I made a new collection of story stones for him I introduced some to help him understand the change a new baby will bring.
Story stones can also aide in helping children explore change or new things that they may be worried about such as starting school, a new baby, going to the doctor or the dentist. I am expecting a girl in 5 weeks so i did a few basic ones to indroduce the needs of a new baby to Dimples. We discussed nursing, what he needed when he was a baby, where the baby will sleep and so on. In the picture below he is asking me about the pram and where we will go with the pram, then he told me a story about walking to the park and helping push the pram up the hill in the end his baby sister watched him on the slide and cried because she wanted to learn how to climb like him. It was a very special story.
Exploring EmotionsWhile making the new story stones for Miss K, I decided to add some to Dimples collection while I was at it. I did a set of emotional faces to explore feelings and emotions tied in with story time. Teaching emotional intelligence can be as simple as introducing feelings as the child is telling the story. For example, Dimples was swinging in the tree at the park, but then it started to rain, "how did he feel when it rained" He was sad, this can be extended, disappointed, upset, feeling down. When the sun came out he went and got some gumboots on so he could play. This brightened his day, he was happy and had fun!
Story stones exploring feelings also help build empathy, as the child can put them self in the shoes of another, they begin accepting feelings, learning to cope with emotions and understand how others may feel as well. I made some basic faces; Happy, Excited, surprised, angry, disappointed, unsure, confused/puzzled, shy, upset, tired, that will serve to add an element of emotion into story stone time.
|Faces of Feelings to tie in with story telling time.|
Connecting during story time.Sharing stories is a great way to spend quality time together and connect with your child. They will love just spending the time with you and this promotes bonding and a special relationship, laying the path for a child's later social and interpersonal skills.
You can show your child how much you cherish them through basing the story stones around their interests and having a theme, then you can establish a connection through listening, asking questions and discussing stories. You may be surprised, they may come up with a favourite story they tell all the time, or tell stories that are based on their experiences. But more importantly it gives them an enjoyable experience where they have quality time with you and a strong connection to cherish.
- Listen, (really listen) and reflect if they are struggling for words or meaning.
- Show interest in their story telling
- Make story telling fun, not an educational lesson
- Let them guide the stories, follow the child's lead.
- Focus on their interests and likes or things in their real life. Children learn more and hold attention for longer when they're engaged and interested
- Explore on feelings, problem solving and identify between real life and make believe
- Taking turns and sharing stories about your life, family, when they were a baby and when you were a child gives them a sense of belonging and builds a strong connection.
Looking for other beautiful story stone inspiration?
Here are some links to my favourites...
Happy Whimsical Hearts involved her Dino Boy in the making of some story stones "mood stones"as they explored feelings.
and the most recent favourite I have discovered,
these are great handmade Story Coins by Hinterland Mama
Happy Adventures :)