These camping story stones are great for kids to make and play with as a DIY toy or for rehearsing and preparing for an upcoming camping trip.
Story stones are great for imagination and creativity with kids. They can be used to prompt stories that children make up, or for re-telling previously heard tales. Either way, creating story stones by making themed painted rocks are one of our favorite activities to make and play with. These camping story stones were a hit on our last camping trip with kids!
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Camping Story Stones for Kids
Dramatic play is a great way to help children prepare for an upcoming event or activity. It allows for parents or caregivers to set expectations, discuss safety and lay out new routines, all through play and fun! We use story stones in this way as well, and these camping story stones were excellent for preparing our three year old for his first camping trip.
We made up stories about our family going out on the lake to go canoeing and fishing, and in the stories we put on our life jackets and waited for a parent. We made s’mores near a very hot fire that the kids needed to be play safely around. These camping story stones helped us rehearse and practice important aspects of camping with kids!
Prior to camping trips, we also do a few days of indoor camping with the kids to help rehearse more of the activities and what it would be like to sleep in a tent. These camping story stones are fun to play with during this time as well. I love the addition of the trailer and the compass in this story stone set made by Ruffles and Rainboots too!
What you need to make the camping story stones:
acrylic paint pens – this is our favorite set
smooth, round rocks
paper towel or washcloth
How to make the camping story stones:
I always begin by sketching out a rough shape or image on the rocks. For this set, I sketched a canoe, a backpack, a tree, a fish, a tent, a campfire, a flower and a lantern.
I’m not an artist by any means. So I’ll often take inspiration from books or other materials I have laying around the house.
Fill the sketches in with the base color of the item. This gives you a general idea of what the rock will look like, and you can outline and add detail from here.
When painting rocks, I like to color everything in, and then add highlighting with a white paint pen. If you do this while the colored paint is still wet, the colors kind of blend together creating a nice highlight effect. *This will color the tip of the white pen, but just dab it a few times on a paper towel and the paint will turn back to white.
After adding all of the color and highlighting that I like, I outline the drawing with a thin black paint pan. This really gives the entire drawing that pop and finished off the painted rock nicely.
Once your story stone set is complete, decorate a small burlap bag to keep them in. Something about this finished little product makes me so happy. I use the same paint pens from the rocks for decorating the bag.
We used these story stones in a camping sensory bin by adding them to dried rice with some scoops. What fun!