10+ stone activities for kids: ways to add stones and rocks to your backyard play space for fun and learning.
Kids just love playing with stones, don’t they? One of our favourite annual treks is a hike on the beach where we collect a bunch of new stones and rocks to replenish our collection at home. We load up our pails, cloth bags and our pockets and we haul our our new stones home. Over the weeks and months to come, they’ll find their way into almost every little corner of our yard and home, and they’ll be played with daily in so many different ways.
10 Stone Activities for Kids:
Here are 10 of our favourite, simple stone activities here in my home daycare.
Letter Stones – I painted uppercase and lowercase letters, with acrylic paints, on small flat beach stones. When the paint was dry, I gave them a quick coat of spray varnish to weather-proof them. Younger children can explore the letters through play, while older children can form sight words with them.
Water Displacement Activity
Water Displacement Activity: The hooligans love to drop the small, round stones into a jar of water so we did this fun water displacement experiment so they could see just what happens to the level of the water when you add rocks to it.
Chocolate Box Rocks
Chocolate Box Rocks: Fill an empty chocolate box with a variety of small colourful stones. Toddlers will have fun simply putting the stones in and out of the box, and older children can pay closer attention to the shapes of the stones, trying to match them with a similar shaped space in the box.
Stacking and Building
Stacking larger beach rocks: We always have a stack of larger beach rocks piled up in one corner of our back deck. The hooligans play with these daily. Most often they stack the rocks, but they also love scrubbing them with toothbrushes and soapy water, or simply “painting” the rocks with a paintbrush dipped in water.
Story Stones: Story stones are lots of fun! I had a blast making them, and the hooligans love playing with them. They are wonderful story-telling prompts. A child reaches into the basket, draws out a stone, and must use whatever is on the stone in a sentence i.e. “I was riding a blue elephant“, and either they or another child draws another stone and continues, “when I saw a dog playing with a red ball“. We have a collection of about 50-60 story stones, so it’s a new game every time we play. You can see how I made our story stones here.
Stones in the Outdoor Kitchen
Domino Stones: Little ones have fun counting the dots and making matches, while older kids can actually play a game of dominoes. Make your dots by dipping the end of a paintbrush handle in black acrylic paint and press it to an oblong beach stone. When the paint is dry, finish with a coat of spray varnish or polish with a bit of bee’s wax.
Number Stones: These stones have numbers on one side and corresponding dots on the other side. Much like the letter stones, I painted these with acrylics, and gave them a spray of clear coat varnish when the paint had dried.
Painting Rocks: Painting rocks with colourful paint is always fun! We’re making stone paper weights for Father’s Day in this project.
Tea Party with Loose Parts
Tea Party with loose parts: Often we just mix up a bunch of loose parts – stones, pinecones, shells, artificial flowers etc., and we have a little tea party. It’s a simple activity, but there’s lots of opportunity for exploration, fun and learning in even the simplest of activities.
And you might like these stone activities from a few fellow kid-bloggers:
Five Little Ducks by Red Ted Art
Shape & Colour Rocks by Fun-a-day
Pebble Puzzle by Strasilo
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