As I mentioned previously, we had a camping week at the preschool earlier this month. The kiddos had a blast, as did Mary Poppins and I. One simple craft we did during the week involved making pet rocks! I’d love to share the preschoolers’ take on making pet rocks below.
- Rocks of varying sizes
- Googly eyes
- Permanent markers
1. To begin with, gather up the rocks. These can be rocks found on a nature walk, on a camping trip, from the backyard, or even store-bought rocks. Make sure the rocks are cleaned of dirt and debris before moving to the next step.
2. Choose your paints. We used acrylic paints leftover from our Mother’s Day fingerprint flowerpots. Tempera paint works, too, but doesn’t give you the same color saturation. Set out the paintbrushes with the paints.
3. We had each child’s rock on disposable plates. This worked out well for containing some of the mess and moving the wet rocks when the kiddos were done.
4. Let the children have fun painting! Some of my students really, really got into this part of the activity! When they’re done painting, let the pet rocks dry.
5. Once they’re dry, set out googly eyes. Mary Poppins and I tend to have a stash of googly eyes of different sizes and colors! Let the children add the googly eyes they want.
6. If they’re interested, they can use permanent markers to a nose and a mouth. We had a few who did this, but most opted for painted rocks with fun eyes!
7. Let the kiddos play with their “pets” once everything’s dry! The students had a good time with this before the rocks went home. They were especially amused by the antics of Bob, my pet rock.
Some ways to extend the pet rock play . . .
- Add the pet rocks to a fun sensory bin. Perhaps smaller rocks or plain rocks. They’d be great in any environment really.
- Play a game of “pet rock hide-and-seek”. Take them outside, hide the rocks, then let the children run around and find their rocks.
- Use the pet rocks as place markers for board games (like “Chutes and Ladders”).
- Make a play set for the play rocks. I LOVE what Childhood Beckons did in their post “Art and Play: The Nature Way – Rocks”!