Exploring story stones in preschool

I already shared how to make story stones and I must say, if you haven’t thought about making story stones with or for your class, that you really should. Our students LOVE them…

Ms. Abby introduced the story stones to the entire class during circle time…

Since story telling is new to our class, Ms. Abby told the story for today. Each child took a turn picking out a stone and Ms. Abby would include that stone in the next part of her story…

The pictures on the stones influence the direction of the story. As the children get the idea of how to use the stones for telling stories, we will invite them to tell their own stories…

For now, we set the story stones out on a table for the children to explore on their own…

Here are some more ideas for story telling that I would like to try…

Story Telling Jar by Honey Bee Books

Story Stones by Happy Hooligans

Story Telling Pathway by Preschool Lesson Plans

Story in a Bag by This Little Project

Light Table Story by Strong Start

The Story Stick by the Butterfly Jungle

By |2011-08-29T17:30:21+00:00August 29th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. TheBargainBabe August 29, 2011 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Those look like fun! I’ll have to get my older child involved in helping me make some. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Great for older children as well!

  2. Kate Cunningham August 30, 2011 at 5:47 am - Reply

    I am so glad RedTedArt linked this article. I LOVE stones and have a huge collection from across the world. We always have stones in school but I have never come across this idea before. It is difficult to see from your picture, but are all your pictures nouns? Can you add times of day e.g. night, sunrise, places, colours, shapes, emotions/feelings etc? The possibilities are endless. I like the way the children have done their own pictures to put on the stones. Have you considered using Boardmaker symbols for SEN children. Everyone can use them as they are so easily recognised.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Yes – the children chose their own pictures so they are pretty much names of objects. You have a wonderful idea there! I plan to make more and will do some of your suggestions! I am not sure what Boardmaker symbols are?

  3. Melissa @ Honey Bee Books August 30, 2011 at 7:56 am - Reply

    Story stones look like so much fun. On our walk around the lake last weekend we collected some lovely stones and I can’t wait to transform them! Also, a big thank you for linking up to our story telling jar post 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm - Reply

      You are quite welcome Melissa!

  4. Erica August 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    I LOVE this idea, so going to be trying it! Will link back to you of course :o) Thanks!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      You will love it!

  5. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree August 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    Love this idea! Ironically we have been doing lots of Rock/Stone Activities!
    This would be a great extension to add pictures and tell stories! My Daughter would Love this! She tells my husband and I to read her a story when we are just making up stories out of our imaginations!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      I love all your ideas and love that you took the time to share them here!

  6. Trisha August 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    I just went to a local canyon with a group of teenage girls to hike. There were streams, beautiful scenery, a waterfall, etc… Everyone was exploring and taking it all in. Except me. I couldn’t help myself. I spent my time looking for the perfect shaped stones for this activity! I found some really nice stones too:) I’m excited about this. Thanks so much!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 31, 2011 at 12:00 am - Reply

      Hahahahaha Trisha! You made me laugh out loud! I would do exactly the same thing!

  7. Sabine September 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    How do you actually start a story with these stones? No one gave an example of how to introduce them as a tool to tell stories to the children.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Sabine,
      I use them in several ways. To tell stories with young children, I often start the story by letting a child take a stone out of the bag then I say “Once upon a time there was a _______”. Then I come up with something repetitive that each character (or stone) can do – it is a silly story but it helps the children follow the pattern and join in. So for example, after the opening I then say, “.. there was a (horse) and the horse ate or sat on a (next stone) then the (next stone) ate a (keep going). Each time a child chooses a stone, we add that to the story.

      I also just tell a story so I can model the story telling process. The children pick out a stone and I change the story based on the stone they choose. Once the children get the idea, then I invite them to make up what will happen next in the story. We set the stones out in order of our story and talk about what happened first, next, next, then last.

      Finally, I keep the story stones on a shelf and let the children just explore them as they wish. Some of them will mess with telling stories. Others like to rearrange or sort the stones. And others turn them into different types of games.

      I hope this helps!

      • Sabine October 4, 2011 at 12:02 am

        Deborah, thanks for the reply. You gave me some good examples to give it a try and see what happens.

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 4, 2011 at 12:19 am

        I hope you enjoy it:)

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