Stories are a vital part of every culture because by nature, our brains love stories! Whether we are getting them from getting lost in a novel, telling a friend about our day, or watching our favorite tv show, stories are everywhere. Stories are especially essential for children because they help them make sense of their world. I use story stones with my therapy clients to help them tell the stories of their lives and related feelings in therapy. This helps children to see the logical order of events and how they felt during different parts. If you are a therapist or counselor, this works great for children sharing their trauma story too. Of course, these little rocks can be used by parents as well (“Tell me a story about your day at school using these rocks.”). The stones with the images help children to have visual sensory input while verbally sharing information, and this helps for the child to have something tangible/concrete to use to tell the story.
They are easy to make too! I bought a small sheet of mosaic stones at a hardware store and then drew on them with permanent markers. Image ideas: houses, people, feeling faces, animals, toys, parks, seasons, weather etc. For more information on how stories and other everyday strategies relate to brain development in children, check out The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel M. D. and Tina Payne Bryson. It’s a great book and an easy read compared to other brain books out there.