Stones, pebbles, rocks, boulders... they hold great fascination. Almost everyone I've worked with, children and adults, has loved stones; they are a wonderful "loose part" with which to explore and create. They are calming to hold, you can create patterns and constructions with them, they can represent many things, you can add things onto them, they have a weight and texture that is captivating, they can be any and all colours - and when wet can shine out like magic...
Recently one of the nursery children at Dunkirk spent two hours with a stone she found in the school community garden - it was her friend, she carried it around, talking and singing to it, showing it the different areas of the garden and then finally making a secret nest for it, so it could have a "lovely home".
I'm probably one of thousands of people who love to make towers of stones, especially on a beach. It can take a long time to search for and select the right stones to create a tower or other structure - and you notice so much about the stones (and thereby the whole area around you) as you look.
I love the poem "maggie and millie and mollie and may" by e e cummings, there's a part of it which says
" may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone"
Sometimes you find magical places where a combination of nature and people have created really intriguing compositions - often people will respond to the power of the places in which they find themselves.