Have you been following along with my US State Study of the Week series on the blog? I have tried to share some of the books and internet resources, as well as games and toys that we will be using along with the study printables that I created and share each week. Another fun resource that we have loved in our household for years are story stones.
Not familiar with what story stones are? Story stones are typically found being used to promote creativity, enhance imaginative play, and reinforce storytelling. In this case, I wanted to make this set of story stones with a twist since we will be dealing with facts about each state. I created one story stone for each of the 50 US States.
To create your own DIY US State Story Stones you will need the following materials:
- US State Study of the Week Capitol to State Card Game (which can be downloaded for free HERE)
- Flat stones
- Elmer’s glue
- Scotch tape
Living in the rural mountains we never have a shortage of sticks, rocks, and stones around our property. So, I wanted to bring some of the outdoors indoors for some US State Study fun in our lessons. After finding the stones, start by washing them in a tub of soapy water to get off any excess dirt:
Allow the rocks to air dry completely before moving on to the next step. We found this took less than 20 minutes indoors.
While your rocks are drying, print out the US State Study of the Week Capitol to State Card Game printable. You will only be using the state name and outline, but prior to cutting out the states, cover the state in Scotch Tape. We tested this step with a clear packing tape, Modge Podge, and some other various materials and found that because we are working with rocks and not manmade materials, the natural ridges and bends that the rocks have caused some issues. Using the Scotch Tape was the best method that had the most long standing use to go up against my kids using them on a weekly basis.
Then place the state on the stone that is shaped to fit the state the best. I placed glue on the backside of paper and once applied to the rock, I also drew an outline of glue around the edge of the state to help pin down those tricky edges. Depending on the shape of your stones, the state itself, and other various factors, you may find that some edges need some help staying down while the glue bonds itself to the rock. I found that the easiest solution was to take some extra rocks and prop the corners for 10-15 minutes to ensure the edges would stay down.
The stones themselves appeared to take 30-40 minutes in total to dry. Once they are all dry you will have your very own set of story stones for your state study lessons this year!
When using this story stone set each week in our lessons I plan to not only use the current week’s state that we are studying; but also, I plan to use this opportunity as a review to go over the previous states that we have learned about. Some of the prompts that I will ask my children to help reinforce their learning are:
- What is one landmark that can be found in this state?
- What is the capital of this state?
- What colors can be found on this states flag?
- What is this states nickname or motto?
- When did this state come into statehood?
- If you were to live in this state during the “” season what would you wear?
- What is something special and unique that you have learned about this state?
- Tell me a story about what you would do if you visited this state.
As you can see, the prompts that you could create for this US State Story Stones set is really endless. Depending on the age of your children and their knowledge about the US States you can make this as easy and opened ended or as challenging as you would like to.
What fun ways do you incorporate your state studies into your lessons?