The Magic of Stone Soup
Did you know you can make soup magically, out of water and a stone?
That's part of the story of "Stone Soup," a folktale that's easy to make come alive for your family.
The advanced challenge this month is to share the story of "Stone Soup" and make stone soup with your family, friends, or group.
The "Stone Soup" Story
There are various versions of the "Stone Soup" tale. Some feature hungry travelers who convince villagers to contribute to their soup. Others feature a tramp knocking on the door of an old woman's home to get her to make soup for him. Still others feature animals making soup. The settings and characters may be different, but the magic of the soup stone is the same.
Find your own version of the story, or try one of these:
- The classic book Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. First published in 1947, this is a Caldecott Honor book available in many libraries.
- A YouTube reading of Stone Soup
- Multiple versions of the Stone Soup story on the FolkTexts website (scroll to see all)
- The hardcover book Stone Soup by Jon Muth. Available in many libraries.
- Animated story of Stone Soup on YouTube
Have a Stone Soup Party
Here's how to share the story:
- Decide whether to do this "in house" with just your family or set a date to share with friends or a group
- Invite people, explain the concept, and request they bring a soup-ready ingredient
- Pick your version of the story to read, tell, or share
- Get a stone for the soup pot
- Tell your kids just enough about the story to set the stage
- Chop vegetables and prep other soup ingredients with your kids' "help"
- Gather everyone together around a soup pot placed on a low table for a storytelling session
- As you tell or read the story, add the water and soup stone. Then have kids take turns adding the other ingredients as part of the story. Flex the story to include the ingredients on hand.
- Put the soup on the stove and simmer until vegetables are cooked
- Let the kids play - or share other stories - until the soup is done
- Serve the soup!
Possible Stone Soup Ingredients
You don't need to follow an exact recipe to make stone soup, or you can adapt a recipe. Any typical soup ingredients will combine to work for the story and make good soup. That's the magic!
Think about what your kids will like or enjoying chopping or adding. Try some of these:
- Celery, chopped
- Carrots, chopped
- Potatoes, chopped
- Onions, chopped
- Tomatoes, chopped
- Cabbage, chopped
- Greens such as spinach or kale, chopped
- Salt and pepper (the grinders always have a nice effect during the story telling)
- Meat (pre-cooked)
- Butter, milk, cream, or coconut milk or tomato juice or tomato sauce, depending on the "base" you want. Or just use plain water or broth. It does not need to be fancy!
More Stone Soup Ideas
- Listen to Tom Chapin's song "Stone Soup" and see how one school class acted it out
- Check out Scholastic's Stone Soup lesson plans
- Find activities and recipes for Stone Soup on Pinterest
Big Juicy Conversations about Stone Soup
Depending on the version of the story and the ages and stages of your kids, they may see the point of the story differently. Kids may see "Stone Soup" mostly as a story about sharing, manipulation, cleverness, or magic.
Talk to them to find out what they think! If they're interested, read different versions, and see if the children get different impressions.
More Soup Ideas
To extend the soup theme, you could also:
- Plan to make the Super Bowl a Souper Bowl - enjoy a soup or stew as part of the football party
- Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen and talk about the history of soup kitchens
- Read Mean Soup, Chicken Soup with Rice, and other soup books and stories
- Show kids some soup art, like Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans, and discuss
- Read Calef Brown's beautifully illustrated book of children's poems about food, Soup for Breakfast, for your Poetry Teatime
You're building memories and helping kids make connections, all with simple soup!
Posted February 1st, 2018
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