Use homemade story stones for a variety of literacy and math activities for The Mitten, a well-loved book by Jan Brett.
Related: The Mitten Printables
Many preschoolers love getting into retelling activities, and I always want to encourage this interest.
With that in mind, I put together these story stones during a story study of Jan Brett’s The Mitten.
They’re great to use with a variety of The Mitten activities, and my preschoolers seem to really enjoy them.
The rocks have been used over and over (and over!) again by so many children over the years.
Related: The Mitten Printable Emergent Reader
How to Make The Mitten Story Stones
Originally, I was hoping to use small animal toys like I did with a Little Red Hen activity. However, that wasn’t cost effective (I wanted to use what I already had).
Then I decided story rocks would be fun! I love the hand-painted story stones that I see all over Etsy, but I don’t have that kind of talent!
In the photos here, you’ll see two different sets of The Mitten story rocks. They’re made the same way, but with two different printables.
No matter how you make the rocks, your students will have a blast with these activities for The Mitten!
Story Stones Materials
Related: Materials for Easier Printable Prep
First Set of The Mitten Rocks
First, I went to Jan Brett’s site because she has tons of resources there!
She has printable masks of the animals from The Mitten.
You can download the whole set and print them off to use as masks, but I wanted them smaller.
So I just copied and pasted them into Word and shrunk the graphic down.
Once I had each animal the way I wanted, I printed out the page and brought it to school.
Then, I cut out each small printout of the animals and matched each animal to a river rock.
We have a ton of rocks in our science center, so I grabbed 8 that would fit the graphics.
After that, I mixed some water with some white glue in a little cup. Then I painted a little bit of this glue mixture on a stone, added the cutout animal, and painted more glue on top. You could use Mod Podge instead of diluted glue.
I think I went a little heavy-handed with the glue, but everything’s held together well over many years!
Once the front was dried, I wrote the animals name on the back of the stone.
I ended up going back to paint over the words with diluted glue too.
The Mitten Story Stones Video Tutorial
Here’s a look at how to make your own version of these story stones.
And a peek at some activities for The Mitten you can try with your students.
Second Set of The Mitten Story Stones
Even though the original story rocks have lasted for years and years, I wanted to share another set.
Many of my amazing readers asked me for a printable so as to make the process easier.
And if you’re a regular Fun-A-Day reader, you know I’m happy to make printables that support hands-on activities like this! You can grab a copy at the bottom of this post.
The process of making this set is that same as the previous method!
They turned out just as well as the very first set I made. I also like that the names of the animals from the book are on the front of the story stones with these.
Preschool Activities for The Mitten
There’s probably an endless supply of ideas you can use with these story stones.
If you’re ever at a loss, just hand the book and the rocks to the children. Then sit back and observe!
To get you started, I’ve got a couple of ideas to share.
The Mitten Retelling Activity
One of my sweet preschool parents donated a spare white mitten for this! Using the book as a guide, the kiddos helped me retell the story.
Our mitten flew the air and was stuffed with animals by the end. We even recreated a giant bear sneeze.
The kids could do this forever and ever. No, really. We haven’t hit an end to this activity yet! 🙂
Pair the story rocks with The Mitten printable emergent reader for a different retelling idea.
Math Activities for The Mitten
Add a little math to this retelling activity!
I grabbed number tiles, one through eight. The kids helped me put the story rocks in order from first to eighth.
Each rock was given it’s own number. It was interesting to see which kiddos enjoyed ordering and numbering the stones (in comparison to those who enjoyed acting out the retelling).
You can also use magnetic numbers to work on this same concept. It just depends on what you already have on-hand!
All in all, our preschool activities for The Mitten were a hit.
Those little story stones are well-loved, and they seem to be holding up well.
At first, every time we used them, a teacher was supervising or involved. After a while, though, the stones were added to a small bin, along with the mitten, the number tiles, and a white piece of felt. Then it was placed in the reading center, where it continued to be well-loved!
Have you made your own The Mitten story stones?
What are some of your favorite activities for The Mitten? Be sure to check out more The Mitten activities for preschoolers here.
Originally published January 28, 2015. Updated to include a video and new photos. The original story stones are still going strong!
Free The Mitten Printable Animals
As promised, here’s a free printable you can use alongside the fun activities for The Mitten!
If you can’t see the form above, click here.
The Mitten Preschool Lesson Plans
Be sure to check out Preschool Teacher 101’s lesson plans centered around The Mitten theme.
They include a lot of activities for The Mitten, all planned out for you already.