Family activity: how to make and use story stones

Story stones are a great way to get inspiration for making stories. Making the stones is good fun, and you can use them over and over again in different ways!

Story stones are a great way for children (and grown ups!) to get inspiration for making stories. The stones can either have pictures (a caterpillar, a footprint, a daisy) or a pattern that might mean different things in different stories. For example, a yellow dot might mean the sun in one story or represent happiness in another. Making the stones is good fun, then you can use them over and over again in different ways.  

Story stones on table by Charlotte Evetts
Story stones equipment by Charlotte Evetts

You will need:

  • A handful of smooth stones (get searching in the garden or out on a walk)
  • Acrylic paints OR ready-mix/poster paint and PVA glue
  • Paint tray/container to put the paint in
  • Small paint brushes
  • Pencil
Draw in pencil on your stone

Step 1: use the pencil to draw a simple picture on your stone. It could be an animal or an object, or a pattern like spots or zigzags. Walking around your garden or looking out the window is a great way to get ideas. How about a bird, a cloud, or a flower?

Mixing paint in pot

Step 2: carefully fill in your picture with the paints. If you are using ready-mix/poster paint mix a squirt of PVA glue into it first. This will help the paint to stick to the stone and not to flake off when it dries.

Painting story stone

If you’re using a few different colours you might need to let one dry before you add the next so they don’t get smudged together.

Finished story stone

Step 3: leave your stones to dry then try out some of the ideas below for making stories with them!

Story stones in grass by Charlotte Evetts

Ideas for using your story stones

  • Ask a grown up to hide the stones around your garden then go searching for them. When you find the first stone use it to give you an idea and start making up a story. Every time you find another stone use it to add another part to your story.
  • Put all the stones in a bag, pull out three and use them to tell a story. You could write your story down, draw pictures to tell your story or tell it out loud to a friend.
  • Take a stone and write down all the words it makes you think of, for example if you looked at the caterpillar stone you might write down “munch, nibble, wiggle, green, crawl, cabbage, butterfly, pupa, hungry, metamorphosis, cute, tiny, amazing, insect”. Use the words you’ve thought of to write a poem.





Still looking for something to do? Why not take our spring flower spotter sheet out on a walk?