And, then, the story stones floated back into my brain when I began thinking about a gift for the staff at my son's preschool. I love to give gifts that have a personal touch and hopefully mean something special to the recipient.
In this case, my son's school here in Tbilisi has been an amazing discovery. I am beyond thankful that he was able to spend his first year in the Rep. of Georgia at a school with a flexible schedule, in a play-oriented environment and in a setting that embraced the culture and the nature that we are so lucky to live in. So, as the year came to a close, both him and I wanted to present the staff with a gesture that showed our appreciation. As a year end gift, my son and I created a set of story stones. The gift cost nothing more than paint, creativity and thought. And, it will provide a happy addition to the school's toy shelves as they return from summer holiday and move into a new academic year.
To make your own story stones, simply find a set of small, similarly sized rocks. Then, paint simple icons on each rock-- people with different emotions, weather items (rainbows, raindrops, sunshine, snow), animals, magical creatures (fairies, toadstools, monsters, wizards), arrows, and other assorted objects as they cross your mind.
There are several ways to play with the stones. A few ideas:
- Show the children how to tell a story by selecting rocks and using the icons on the rocks to continue the story's plot
- Put the rocks in a bag and sit in a circle. The first person draws a rock and begins a story using the object represented on their stone. Then, the next person draws a stone and continues the story using the item represented on their rock. The story continues, with each person in the circle drawing a new story stone as it is their turn.
- Spread all of the rocks out on the floor and have children tell you what the objects might be thinking or feeling.