“To be a person is to have a story to tell.” ~Isak Dinesen
I know, I know…it’s not Sunday. But is was yesterday when we took a trip to the river. And that’s how these stones came to be. It all started with a cranky, whiney dog who needed a walk, and the best place for that is down by the river at the off leash park. The smalls and I decided to pack up a picnic lunch and head out.
We ran in the woods and played hide and seek, we built forts in the trees, and the dog ran. And ran. And ran. At last, she was tired out…
But we weren’t ready to go home yet! We spread out our blankie and ate our picnic lunch in the sun. We found new trails and played in the water…
Then, the smalls got an idea…
“Can we bring rocks home to paint?”
And the hunt was on.
Thhen I got an idea. Why should they have all the fun? I want to paint some too! So I gathered with them…but let me just say that carrying them all the way back to the car was not as fun as you may think!
When we got home, we gave our stones a wash and gathered our paints…
Then, we got down to the business of painting. The smalls had chosen large rocks and so had lots of room for colour and imagination…
They mixed paints to create new colours, they chatted on about how their rocks were going to look and where they were going to put them when they were finished…
I tapped into my artist side and painted along with them. I was making story stones for the smalls to use in play time. As I painted, they gave me suggestions on what pictures I should put on the stones. Beetles!! A cow!! Gold! An airplane! Oh, their list was endless!
I added some of the elements from stories we have already been working on, too. Like the beanstalk from the story of Jack, and the orange cat from Puss n’ Boots…
I just used acrylic craft paints and then outlined them with a black sharpie marker when they were dry. I had to call in the big guns to do the horse for me though…my teenaged daughter is a pro at anything equine related!
I wanted to clear coat the stones so they would stand the test of time, but it was hard getting them away from the smalls long enough! They were having so much fun making up stories with them!
“The baby was kidnapped by the aliens and now it’s an alien baby!”
The puppy is going to visit the 3 little pigs to see if they have any crayons!”
“Watch out! The airplane is falling from the sky and it’s going to land on you, little boat!!!”
It was too much listening to their story-telling. So I waited until bed time to coat the stones. I used a water-based verathane and it worked like a charm. The stones are shiny and protected and will see a LOT of use.
We are already planning for new stones on our next trip to the river. There are so many stories waiting to be told.
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes
Arlee, you are one of the best moms ever!!! Such imagination! Thanks for posting these great ideas….It might be too late for me as a mom but never as a gramma to use some of your great ideas!
You are welcome, Auntie xo Love you!!! And thanks sooo much for your comments!
What a great post!! I love this idea. My kids and I love to gather and find rocks and shells on the beach and then add them to our shell garden, but I love the idea of painting them and making stories out of them! Thanks!!
I’m so glad I found your site. I left a message on your Facebook Fan page, but don’t know if you got it. Thanks again for a great post!
Thank you, Kathy! You could even paint on your shells! And I did get your message! I replied back to you :):)
Beautiful story stones!
I love your story stones! Your kiddos had great ideas, and your artwork is amazing! We collect rocks all the time. We’ve painted them before, but I have yet to make story stones.
Love these! What a great way for the kiddos to create stories using the pictures and their imagination! Pinning these to try out with the little guy when he gets older! 🙂
Thank you, Gina! Today the smalls decided we need to add a notebook and pencil to the stone’s basket so we can record the stories they make up! They are too smart for me!
These are wonderful! We just came from a day of hiking at the base of the blue ridge mountains here in VA. Part of our agenda was rock collecting so we can try out our new rock tumbler; alas, we don’t have those lovely smooth stones like your river rocks in these parts! Another fun project with rocks is “hot rocks”. Have you ever tried it? http://blairpeter.typepad.com/weblog/2007/07/another-fun-kid.html Although it may be tricky with a group of really little ones, due to the “hot” aspect.
Great with school aged kiddos though!
These are gorgeous!!!!! Really, really beautiful! I love the fine artistic details on all of them- and clear-coating them will be sure to make them last! Beautiful idea!
I’m doing my first Sunday School class in church next Sunday and we will be making “memory stones” this helped me a lot. I never thought about adding a clear coat. This came at the perfect time for me. Thanks a lot for sharing your story and beautiful stones 🙂
Beautiful! What a fun idea to spark creativity.
Great idea! I’ll be keeping this one in the queue!
Thanks Chris!! 🙂
I LOVE this idea and I know my son would too, thank you for sharing!! 🙂
what a fantastic idea, I LOVE it! we will definitely do this – thanks for posting your idea and sharing your lovely day with us :o)
Well, that’s it. I stumbled across your blog, and after reading three posts straight that I loved, I am now an avid fan. I can’t wait to be using some of these ideas in my class.
Thank you so much for your amazing insight and creativity.
Hi Arlee, I love, love, LOVE this idea! I’m a new reader to your blog and I have to say I am super impressed, you’ve definitely gained yourself a loyal reader. I’ve been following you on instagram for some time and it only just hit me that I should check out your webpage. Keep up the amazing work. You are truly inspirational.
P.S. I borrowed one of your pictures for a post on my blog about how awesome your site is, I hope you don’t mind – I labelled the picture with the source.
Sorry – I linked it incorrectly… http://ineedtopracticeblogging.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/small-potatoes-how-i-envy-thee.html
AWESOME idea! Ill have to do this one day with my little one!
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These are absolutely gorgeous!!
Hello. I have painted rocks for many years. Bugs ,frogs anything I could put in the garden. I have also made a lady bug punic set! They had a picnic blanket and barbie food and six or so lady bugs. My granddaughter loves all my rocks. So I know she will love these as well. I love the idea of telling a story with the rocks ao wonderful. Thank you. AnnaLea
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Just love this. Gives me a great idea for storytelling Tadeo Turtle.
Janis Cox author of Tadeo Turtle – http://www.janiscox.com
Beautiful rocks! Now, if only I had a bit of artistic talent to paint on the rocks!
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