Story Stones have recently become very popular despite the fact that the concept has been around for centuries. What, exactly, are Story Stones and how are they used? This article discusses how these sets of rocks can be used by parents, educators, and therapists as tools to help develop a variety of skills such as language development, communication, and pretend play.
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT/SPEECH THERAPY
To encourage the use of new vocabulary and expressive language, give a child a bag of Story Stones and have him pull out a stone one at a time. Encourage him to describe what he sees on the rocks, and to tell a story about them. Be a passive listener, but interject more advanced vocabulary when it makes sense to do so. This method is fun for children and can be used by parents, educators, and therapists.
When we were children, most of us never gave “pretend play” any special consideration. We were constantly making up stories and games, pretending to be superheroes or princess, inventing elaborate imaginary worlds to keep ourselves entertained. My sister and I played “Little House on the Prairie” often, and I even had an invisible friend. He was a ghost named George. However, there are many children with disabilities who have trouble with pretend play.
Story Stones can be a fun way to develop pretend play. Guide a child through a made-up story using the stones. Start the story, then prompt the child to finish an idea or a sentence.
Use the Story Stones as a memory game. Turn them face-down while the child is watching. Then prompt with a question such as “Can you remember where the frog is?” Story Stones can also be used with adults who experience memory impairments. They can look at a stone and talk about any memory the image brings forth.
SENSORY & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Smooth, little stones are a joy to handle. They just feel great in your hand. Children (and adults) with sensory issues might enjoy handling the stones. They also help develop fine motor skills and dexterity.
JUST FOR FUN!
Children will enjoy Story Stones in a variety of ways. Mostly, though, they are simply fun. These sets make great stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, and Christmas gifts.