Stones are all around us and come in all shapes and sizes but these precious gifts from nature are often overlooked. Each stone tells a story – a beautiful phrase that carries the reader right to the heart of The book of stone by Mark Greenwood. Every stone carries a message of geological magic, special memories and places if only we pay attention to its full story.
There are so many activities you could do with the children to explore stones and their special connection with nature and people. Do the children remember seeing a beautiful stone? Where was it? What made the stone stand out? Do they know where it is from and what its story might be? Investigate the stones around your outdoor area. Encourage the children to touch and hold them. Why are some stones heavier than others? Are the surfaces all the same? Can the children think of a way to get a stone smooth? The children might be interested to find out more about their birthstone. What colour does it have? Is there a special meaning to it? In which country can it be found in nature?
You can also start a conversation about preserving habitats when out in nature by getting the children to enjoy what they see and experience but to leave it there: When you go on a bushwalk, do you take stones and sticks home with you? What could this mean for the animals who live there? Where would the little creatures go if you took the stone home under which they were hiding? When you see a stone you like, you could draw a picture of it and bring it in to tell your friends all about the special stone.
You could also involve the parents by asking them to bring in items from home that are made of natural stone, such as jewellery, decorations or kitchen utensils, and tell the item’s story. This would give the children the opportunity to explore different stone types and their use and meaning.
With our book recommendations, we want to spark an interest in children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Most books go beyond the obvious STEM connections and can be a great starting point for exploring children’s questions and ideas further.
Learn more: Book a STEM workshop.
Article author: Tina Gaertner
Graphic Design & Marketing Support
Tina combines her love of graphic design with a master’s degree in adult education. She loves using her creativity and digital expertise to contribute to changing young children’s lives.