Playdough To Plato · Jun 11, 2014

Camping Themed Story Stones

Playdough To Plato -

Activity for ages 4 to 7.

I’ve been dying to make story stones ever since I came across them on Pinterest and thought this would be a perfect camp craft to do with my 4 year old daughter, A, while her brother napped in the tent. I’ve seen story stones made using acrylic paint, permanent markers, decoupaged magazine clippings… even fabric, but I thought the most travel and kid friendly way to make them was using Sharpie oil based paint pens. These pens aren’t cheap but they almost beat out my hot glue gun as my favorite craft tool so I think they are totally worth the splurge.

To Prep

I gathered my supplies:

  • Rocks {smooth rocks work best}
  • Paint pens, paint, or permanent makers
  • Drawing materials {crayons, markers}
  • Pencil
  • Writing Paper

Camping Themed Story Stones

My 4 year old and I gathered several smooth rocks while beach combing. I told A that we needed the rocks to make stones she could use to play and make up stories about camping. When A saw the paint pens she couldn’t wait to get back to camp and we ended up beginning our craft on a log on the beach.

I asked A what things came to mind when she thought of camping and she immediately started rattling off all the quintessential camping things: a tent, campfire, and bugs. I brought out the paint pens and invited A to draw those things on the rocks.

After we both made several stones, I flipped each one over and wrote what it was on the back. I knew A would love these stones and thought it would be the perfect way to get her to practice writing, which requires so much concentration for her.

At first, I just let A play with the stones, asking her questions as I listened to her make up stories. My toddler, Q even got into it, asking me to make him his own set to play with. After awhile, I asked my daughter to choose several stones and tell me a story. She came up with a wacky tale about camping with a pet worm whom she had to rescue out of a tall evergreen by bouncing off her tent. I handed her a sheet of writing paper and asked her to draw her story.

When she was finished I asked her to tell me her story again and I would help her write it. Since A can only write a few dozen words on her own I helped her write all the words except those on the story stones. I showed her how she could turn the stone over to see the word and use it to copy into her story.

A easily wrote the words into her story and didn’t complain once that it was too much work- a rarity! She couldn’t wait to get busy illustrating and writing the next page in her camping story.

“I can staple them all together and make a whole book!” she exclaimed as she grabbed the next sheet of writing paper. I love it when she gets so excited when learning!

This activity was a huge hit. My daughter refined her fine motor skills with careful drawing and writing, expanded her vocabulary and imagination through storytelling, and became super excited and proud to make her own stories. A now has a long list of stones she wants me to help her make. I have to say she isn’t alone in her love of story stones. I have plans to make bags of them with different themes. These would even make awesome party favors for a birthday. Looks like I gotta go brush up on my dinosaur drawings!

Find More

For more camping fun, check out The Ultimate Backyard Summer Camp – an eBook filled with 42 awesome crafts, recipes, science experiments and outdoor games plus tons of fun extras.

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