Story Stones

STORY STONE SETS

Everywhere I’ve looked lately I’ve seen decorated rocks and story stones. I tried my hand painting some of my own recently and let’s just say…painting is not my talent! I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to buy rather than create story stones when I came across an Instagram story from Casey at Little Life Long Learners (@littlelifelonglearners). She shared a very clever way of decorating stones without needing any artistic skills. I was definitely inspired and want to share that with you.

It is super simple, easy and fun for the whole family! All you’ll need is:

  • Mod Podge or PVA Glue (if you use PVA you may want to water it down a little)
  • Flat Stones
  • Stickers (make sure they’re small enough to fit completely on the stones)
  • A small paint brush

….that’s it….EASY!

Once you know the materials, you can probably guess the process…

  1. Peel off each sticker and place them on the stones. Make sure you match the stickers to the size of the stones, you don’t want them hanging off the sides.
  2. Cover the sticker areas and their edges with a layer of Mod Podge/glue.
  3. Allow the glue to set.
  4. Coat them a second time.
  5. Allow to set again.
  6. Play with and enjoy your beautifully decorated stones!

ACS_0057

If you’re not sure what to do with the stones once you’ve decorated them, I have a few suggestions:

Hide and Seek – either in your own backyards or within your community. There are plenty of local Facebook pages dedicated to hiding and finding decorated stones.

Literacy – Ask your child to name the pictures on each stone, ask them how to spell each word. Say rhyming words or list adjectives that can be used to describe the pictures on each stone.

Story Telling – Tell a story by picking up one stone at a time and adding to your story with each new stone. Pick three stones and use them to structure a short story or sentence or choose one stone as the inspiration for a whole story.

Imaginative play – Imagine the fun that could come from having a mini pirate, fairy or dinosaur in your pocket all day!

Rewards – No sugar in these little treats!

Comfort toy – Having a little object to touch and look at throughout the day can be comforting for children feeling low or those with separation anxiety.

If DIY is not your thing but you love the idea of having a set of stones to use  then I have you sorted!

***     Introducing Flying Sprout Story Stones Busy Bags    ***

Fairy stones

The current collection of Story Stone Busy Bags include:
Pirates
Fairies
Solar System
Dinosaurs
Farm Animals

The benefits of Flying Sprout Story Stones:

~Each set comes with a task card with plenty of ideas on how to use, play with and enjoy the special stones. Each set of stones can be used for story telling, treasure hunts, imaginative play and much more.

~You can expect a set of clear, vibrant and detailed pictures that will engage your child’s imagination. The lovely images on these story stones are not hand painted which allows for finer details and more vibrant colours.

~The white stones are perfect for little hands to comfortably hold; they are shiny, flat and measure around 38-40mm in length.

What you’ll receive with your order:

~ 8+ different story stones with various pictures
~ 1x transparent zip-lock bag (to keep your stones safe and visible)
~ 1x task card (with ideas on how to make the most of your story stones)

For a limited time you can save 20% on every Story Stone Busy Bag you purchase! Use the code NEWSS20. Head over to the Flying Sprout store now to view the whole range.

STORY STONE SETS

NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3
Please be aware these story stones may cause a choking hazard and are therefore not suitable for children under 3 years of age.

Why Busy Bags Make Great Stocking Stuffers

Busy Bags make great stocking stuffers and are the perfect Christmas gift for toddlers and preschoolers.

Christmas morning is still my favourite time of the year. It is filled with a sense of magic, excitement and glistening in the eyes of all the children who wake up to see what Santa has left for them.

Christmas morning in my house used to consist of a tummy full of treats. Besides Easter, it was the only day of the year we were allowed to replace the usual healthy breakfast with lollies and chocolates.

My Christmas mornings used to go something like this…

Wake up when it was still dark outside (on a Summer morning in Melbourne that is well before 5:30am) and creep excitedly into the lounge room where our Christmas stockings (we actually had decorated pillow cases) were waiting, full, under the Christmas tree. My brothers and I had strict instructions not to wake my parents until a reasonable time (6am). We were allowed to open our stockings and use/play with/eat anything inside it. Once Mum and Dad woke we would then open the wrapped gifts.

The time from when we woke until when Mum and Dad would get up often felt like an eternity. We used to spend that time watching Christmas cartoons which was fun but could have been more fun if only Santa had left us each…a busy bag!

Busy Bags make great stocking stuffers and perfect Christmas gifts

Busy Bags make the perfect stocking stuffers!

Busy Bags make great stocking stuffers and are the perfect Christmas gift for toddlers and preschoolers.

There are plenty of moments on Christmas Day when the kids need a little quiet time; some down time to focus and relax. Busy Bags are the perfect item to motivate little ones to sit in peace and play while they let their batteries recharge (or give you a little time to get things done).

Busy Bags make great stocking stuffers and are the perfect Christmas gift for toddlers and preschoolers.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why Busy Bags make great stocking stuffers (or more generally, fantastic Christmas gifts!):

  • They are light and portable
  • They don’t need batteries
  • They don’t make noise
  • Once the sugar high has worn off, a Busy Bag can be a great way to keep your child engaged and entertained
  • If your little one gets bored or impatient waiting for guests to arrive, they’ll have a fun and educational activity to keep them occupied
  • Busy Bags can keep your child out of the kitchen while you are cooking the Christmas feast
  • After lunch when everyone feels like napping the Busy Bags can give you some peace and quiet
  • The activities within the Busy Bags encourage play and interraction with with cousins and extended family
  • Travelling will be pain-free on Christmas Day with a Busy Bag; they are designed for travel after all!
  • Busy Bags include everything needed to complete the suggested activities, they are great to use while other toys are being put together or batteries are being sourced

You can find a great range of Busy Bags, including Christmas themed ones, right now here in the Flying Sprout store.

Budget Friendly Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

A fun, fresh collection of preschooler gift ideas costing less than $20. Most stocking stuffers are from Australian small business!

Stocking stuffers for preschoolers and budget friendly kids gifts are what I’m hunting for at this time of the year!

I’m always on the look out for presents costing under $20 (under $15 is even better!) so I thought I’d share some of my favourites to help you with your Christmas or birthday present shopping.

I dearly love supporting Australian small businesses (I am one myself after all), so most budget friendly gifts on this list you can buy from Aussie mums. Of course the big guys have some great gift ideas too, so they will also be mentioned. If you’re a DIYer, I’ve got a few great ideas for you too!

Busy Bags make a great gift. They are easy on the purse, educational, fun and can be taken anywhere. Flying Sprout (me!) has a nice big range to choose from.

Pineapple Busy Bag, $14.95
Pineapple Busy Bag, $14.95

 

Play Doh stamps are personalised name stamps, great for little ones learning to read, write and recognise their own names. Doh Stamp offer fast turn around times and a huge variety of coloured name stamps.

Name stamps, $17-$19
Name stamps, $17-$19

 

Play Dough is a wonderful gift that can be used again and again for fun and learning. Happy Hands, Happy Hearts have a range of beautiful smelling, handmade play dough options.

Licorice playdough $15
Licorice playdough $15

 

Shaped Crayons are a novel little gift that preschoolers are sure to love. Tinta Crayons make toxic free crayons in lovely bright colours and a variety of fun shapes.

Insect Box of 6 Crayons, $16.95
Insect Box of 6 Crayons, $16.95

 

Animal Figurines are great for play and learning. Oh Ivy stock a huge range of animals from all continents of the world.

Edward the Elephant, $10
Edward the Elephant, $10

 

Head Bands are fun accessories for little girls. Top Knot has a large range of styles, sizes and fabrics from sweet newborn and playful toddler through to funky adult. All styles are practical and fun.

Classic Grey Big Bow Headband, $18
Classic Grey Big Bow Headband, $18

 

Toy Necklaces are the perfect two-in one gift. Critterz create fun necklaces which are great for boys and girls! They can be worn as well as played with so there is entertainment anywhere your child goes.

Readymade Caveman Batman, $18
Readymade Caveman Batman, $18

 

Fidget Tools are great for developing fine motor skills and keeping restless hands occupied. Happy Me Shop stocks a range of fidget tools for little ones through to adults. These cute worms are actually little puzzles!

3D Worm Puzzle, $9
3D Worm Puzzle, $9

 

Ok, this company is not Australian but it is too good not to share! The Idea Box stock a huge range of these fantastic boxes. Each box contains many activity ideas to keep little ones learning, exploring and engaged.

Mini Wiggle Box, $14.09
Mini Wiggle Box, $14.09

Water Painting is a simple, mess free and totally relaxing activity. Emma and Doug’s Water Wow books are great for travel and quiet play. There are a wide range of these books and they are all great!

Available from various locations, $8 at Officeworks
Available from various locations, $8 at Officeworks

Wooden Toys are super cheap at Kmart. If you are after some big bang for your buck, Kmart is a great place to find wooden toys and activities that encourage learning and free play.

IMG_1301
Learn the Alphabet Chunky Wooden Puzzle, $5 from Kmart

LEGO and Duplo is always popular. It is unisex and everlasting! You can now purchase small kits, perfect for budget friendly gift giving.

LEGO Duplo Family Pets, $10 from Kmart
LEGO Duplo Family Pets, $10 from Kmart

Other fun suggestions:

DIY Cubby kit – Consisting of rope, pegs and a strong material. You can buy your own supplies from Bunnings.

DIY Small world or sensory play kits – Include some water beads, a tub and animal toys for endless fun.

Books (is it possible to ever have too many!?) – We love the authors Julia Donaldson, Bruce Whatley and Aaron Blabey.

Activity Books and stationary – Crayola brand is great quality, child and budget friendly.

 

If you have any suggestions, please share them. I’m always keen to find out about wonderful gifts that won’t break the bank!