DIY US State Story Stones

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Posted on Oct 7 2014 - 1:00am by Jill
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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. 

DIY US State 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
  • Scissors 

DIY US State Story Stones 1

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: 

DIY US State Story Stones 2

Allow the rocks to air dry completely before moving on to the next step. We found this took less than 20 minutes indoors. 

DIY US State Story Stones 3

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. 

DIY US State Story Stones 4

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. 

DIY US State Story Stones 5

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?

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  • Wow I love this! I’ve never done story stones before, but I think all my kids would love these (even my toddler)! Definitely will have to go collect stones and incorporate this into our geography…thanks for sharing Jill!

  • This is such a cute idea! I am passing this on to a friend who just started homeschooling, I know that she’ll love it!

  • Neat idea. We also like finding rocks in the shape of our state. We have a small collection in our flower bed.

  • Such a creative way to teach! You always have great ideas. Off to pin and FB share!

  • Wow, what a great idea for story stones! I love all the sorting you could do with these too. Love it!

  • This is a great idea! I’ve been painting story stones for the kids and I’m running dry on ideas. I didn’t think about adding in states. Now you’ve opened a whole new can of worms in terms of story stone ideas! Thank you!

  • Such a great idea. I’m a Special Education teacher and I could see using the method with a couple of different lessons.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Susanne @ New South Charm

  • Rose saw this and she is in LOVE with the idea! She asked when we would be making them!

  • Oooh, I see SO many great uses for this idea…I’ve never heard of it before, but I love it!

  • Hello cute lady! I love this. Pinned. We couldn’t think of anyone better to party with. We hope to see you tomorrow at 7 pm.
    Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls

  • oh these sound like a ton of fun (no pun intended)! I love the states idea but you could do other things too – colors, shapes, letters & numbers. Lots of games which is the best way to learn!

  • These are neat! What a great idea. I wish we had teachers that were this creative when I was in school.

  • Jen

    This is such a great idea! My boys in particular would be thrilled to do this.

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