Planning for the Woodland Walk is a joyful agenda item at a faculty meeting. Teachers suggest animals, insects, birds, fungus, elements in nature that the children are noticing. This year the characters are squirrel, caterpillar, red tail hawk, mushrooms and spiders. With the characters decided upon, we thought about the gifts the characters can give to the children. The idea for a collection of story stones emerged, each stone representing a character.
You may be asking yourself, “What are story stones?” They are stones with a a hand drawn motif that our Crafting/Woodland Walk Committee; Ashley Crusco, Jan Owen and Charlotte Kuperwasser lovingly made. We are grateful for their work and believe the stones will give children and their families many memorable stories! Oral storytelling is the beginning of reading and writing. We encourage you to take some time and explore storytelling with your children, using the bag of stones.
You might begin by asking your child to tell the story of today (the Woodland Walk) using the stones.
To encourage further storytelling, you might ask:
What’s happening?… And then what happened?
Or: Oh! The caterpillar is crying/happy/mad! What happened?
If… is a great starter, too.
These stories might be a catalyst for other explorations: finding a real feather and wondering how it feels, how it moves through the air when dropped, and so forth.
You might find you need to make additional story stones for other characters or props. (We used oil-based paint Sharpies to draw on the rocks.)
Above all, have fun!