Thursday, September 2, 2010


I collected some flat river stones two Christmas holidays ago, with the intention of creating something with them for future offspring. (Like how I am optimistic about there some day being more than Esky to play with my river stones?)

My inspiration had come from seeing an alphabet rock set a friend had made - she painted 26 flat stones yellow and then hand-painted on each letter of the alphabet. These lined a window-sill in her daughters room, and were laid out on the carpet as they worked on character recognition.

I didn't collect 26 stones.

But I did collect (more than) enough stones to create a Numberocks set! /party blower sound. I think it's the teacher in me, but I just can't help but get giddy at the thought of creating numeracy resources.

My method...
  1. Choose some stickers.
  2. Select your flattest stones and arrange in their order. Apply stickers.
  3. Flip stones and apply dot stickers to correspond with the numerical character on reverse.
  4. Seal with glossy Mod Podge (on both sides). Also...note your six and nine will appear the same on one side without some attention...use the doughnut hole of the 6/9 to create a character at the base right of each number to show which way is up.
  5. Keep somewhere you can easily retrieve them, else it's like it never happened.

  • You could paint your rocks, but I wanted to keep the river stone-grey...not only because it's less work, I promise.
  • You could also paint on your numbers and save yourself some of the cost of the project.
  • And who said they had to be a Alpharock or Numberock set? Your rock set could bear your child's name, or a word you'd like to display on a shelf or sill, (e.g. "Welcome" / "Family"). Wider flatter stones could be visible on a high shelf, in sequence.
  • Esky loves these already, but no, she won't be playing with these potential missiles unsupervised...and she won't be able to "play" (read here: "have early childhood lessons in disguise") with them for a while yet.
  • Some of the activities I envision using these for include a) displaying the stones dot-side
    p, in order, and revealing the corresponding numerical character after little fingers have counted the dots; b) advancing to putting the stones out of order and recognising number groupings and revealing the numberical character ; c) using the stones to practise ordering numbers; d) using them in conjunction with something else, such as dried beans or marbles, and counting out groups and "labelling" with the appropriate stone; e) removing a stone from a series of numbers (e.g. 3, 4, 6, 7) and displaying the other stones (1, 2, 8, 9, 10) for selection to replace the missing number in the middle. I could go on. I won't.
  • Older kiddilicks could help select appropriate rocks on a family outing/trip - making the set more meaningful for them.
  • Or perhaps you've already played "Find this type of rock" and have some rocks in excess that you're unsure what to do with! Perfect!
  • No place in your home for such? Coated with an exterior seal these could go in the garden...painted.
  • Don't leave your glue-brush laying on your six-stone while you leave the set to dry (see Step 4 picture). When you come back, your bristles will be stuck to the six and will peel off part of the red number in the shape of your brush. Then you'll have to colour it in with red pen. At least you'll laugh each time you notice the discolouration and change in texture over the years. Right? (weakly...) Right?

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