10+ Stone Activities for Kids

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

letter stones

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

rocks and bucket of water

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.

Activity Bins


Activity and Sensory Bins:  Rocks make a great addition to a sensory bin or activity bin.  Check out our Dinosaur Activity Bin and our Deep Blue Sea Bin to see what I mean.


Chocolate Box Rocks

chocolate box filled with stones

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

playing with Rocks on the deck

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

small collection of story stones

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

stones in the sandbox

In the Sandbox:  There’s always a batch of stone-something-or-other being cooked up in the the sandbox or on the play logs.  You just HAVE to have stones and rocks in an outdoor kitchen!

Domino Stones

domino stones

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

number stones

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 a rock blue

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

pouding stones into plastic bowl

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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25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $6.99 until May 25, 2014. Price increases to $8.99 after the 25th. Download your copy today:

3-5 Playful Preschool 3-book

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  1. piratemonkeymama says

    Awesome ideas! I’m one of those people who can’t resist picking up a pretty or “different’ stone and taking it home with me for the garden so I especially enjoyed this post. My son is just coming up on a year and I can’t wait to share my silly passion for rocks with him. I’ve added this to my favourite list for when he gets a bit bigger. Thanks.

  2. says

    These ideas are fab. I love the story stones, my friend makes beautiful versions of these and the kids just love playing with them. Thanks for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party. Hope to see you there again from tomorrow :-)

  3. Terri says

    I love the rocks…where does every one find the flat rocks? I have looked everywhere around our area and none to be found! ;-(

  4. Bettianne Smith, head teacher toddlers and twos. says

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much you have helped me come up with fabulous ideas for my twos classroom. We have been so active this summer with our water wall, making sun catchers, and doing art projects you have mentioned on your blog….and BUBBLES!!! it has been a blast! I look forward to reading you blog and using more great ideas in the future. Thank you.

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