Nature Play Update: Adding Story Stones

I was first inspired by the story stones I saw at the wonderful Red Bird Crafts but unfortunately I never quite got around to buying some Mod Podge to give it ago. Then SquiggleMum shared a simpler version with permanent markers and liquid paper and I thought, I could do that. Now finally, with our focus on indoor nature play, I have put paint pen to rock and made a simple set of Story Stones.

I chose simple motifs which represent common themes in Immy’s play – an owl, bird, leaf, tree, grapes, apple, strawberry, snail, caterpillar, ladybird, fish, snail, house, wand, bag, and two children.

Instead of introducing them all at once, I chose eight to start with and set them out on the mat for Immy to ‘discover.’ The idea is that I will add one or two new stones each day, hopefully encouraging her oral stories to continue to grow and develop.
I love how simple these are to make and to play, and I love that we can easily add a new stone at any time.

And for more story stones inspiration, check out this post over at I’m a Teacher, Get Me Outside Here.


  1. Michelle Cummings says:

    I love your simple and cute idea's thanks for this fun reminder.

  2. Raising a Happy Child says:

    What a wonderful idea – these stones look so pretty!

  3. Those are fantastic. I love the idea of encouraging oral story telling this way!

  4. Love Leisl says:

    great idea! my two love playing with stones…O I can just hear the squeals of excitement when they would find these 🙂

  5. These are really pretty…so natural and fun.

  6. Love the idea, and your stones are so pretty 🙂

    Wonder if we could use some of the shells we collected last week to do the same…

  7. Love these – would love to read some of Immis stories triggered by playing with these if you ever capture them.
    When you say Paint Pen used what exactly? and is is permanent?

  8. Christie - Childhood 101 says:

    Thank you for your comments, they have really been popular with Immy so far.

    Amanda – I am sure smooth shells would work.

    Michele – I will most definitely try and capture some stories. I just used permanent paint pens from an art store – they say they are good for glass and metal so I thought they would work well on glossy rocks. So far, so good, and if they do wear off, they are super easy to touch up.

  9. These would make a great gift! I'm always looking for toys with more than one purpose. What a great idea!

  10. These look fascinating! Almost like Rory Cubes! My kids would love them!

  11. Juliet Robertson says:

    I've just noticed this post and wanted to thank you for the link to my stones post. All the stones shown have been immensely popular with children of all ages. So they kind of grow up with a child…!

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  14. Love these! Where did you get the paint pens!? I love your simple linear images…they look fabulous!

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