Use story stones for a variety of literacy and math activities for The Mitten, a well-loved book by Jan Brett.
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.
Related: The Mitten Printable Emergent Reader
How to Make Story Rock Activities for The Mitten
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!
So here’s what I did!
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 months!
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.
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.
Retelling The Mitten
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 a free printable emergent reader about The Mitten 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).
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 – These story stones are still going strong!
The Mitten Preschool Lesson Plans
A week’s worth of preschool lesson plans all themed around Jan Brett’s book “The Mitten”! Includes math, science, literacy, art, sensory, and building activities, along with 10+ printables.