Fun Friday: Paint Rocks

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.

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THE IDEA: Paint some of the many rocks we’ve collected this summer.

We came home from Yosemite with more pint-sized pieces of granite than I’d like to admit. Pair that with the fact that the little explorer picks up at least one such treasure from nature on each of our nightly walks and you can imagine how high our rock pile has grown.

The time had come to try putting them to good use in our backyard. To recreate this activity, you’ll need:

  • Rocks
  • Acrylic pens or acrylic paint & brushes
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Plastic eyeballs (optional) 

We sat down on the grass in our backyard with a small collection of our favorite rocks. Both explorers were quick to start decorating some with the acrylic pens I’d purchased just for the occasion.

I chose pens instead of paintbrushes so the little explorer would be able to draw something on the rocks’ small surfaces.

After scribbling on a few, the little explorer went for the stickers I had unintentionally kept in the same bag as the pens. Suddenly, he was creating like mad.

Meanwhile, the big explorer was asking for plastic eyeballs so he could make a rock creature. The result was “Rocky,” who now has a special place next to the big explorer’s bed.

When the kids were done creating, they placed the rocks around our garden. I love discovering the little hidden treasures when I’m watering or wandering. I’ll be keeping them there as long as they’ll stay.

Painting rocks can be as simple or elaborate as your kids want. For best results:

  • Let toddlers use stickers. The little explorer used the paint pens but seemed to have a lot more fun putting stickers on his rocks. The more glittery the stickers, the better!

  • Show off your creations. We sprinkled our rocks throughout the garden. They’re a fun decoration and a great reminder of our summer adventures.


Looking for more inspiration to get outside? Here are a few of my favorite ideas this week:

Here’s to a wonderful weekend full of plenty of time outside!

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  1. says

    I love Big Explorer's "Rocky" — how cute! This is such a great idea. Shane painted several big rocks in our garden, but now I'm thinking we'll go out and collect some fist-sized stones for him to paint on our next rainy day. Thank you for the great ideas you share!

  2. says

    @Mel: What a great idea for a play group!<br /><br />@Colleen: I&#39;m thrilled to hear you went on a color walk! 🙂 If you try this, consider adding eyeballs or other things from nature like acorns or flowers for added interest. My boys are very no-nonsense! Good luck!

  3. says

    Debi – You always have such wonderful ideas for connecting with nature &amp; keeping the kids busy! My daughter loved our color scavenger hunt (inspired by your post) &amp; this sounds like another fun activity that we&#39;ll have to try out!

  4. says

    Fun! We took non-toxic watercolors down to the river during one of our playgroups and painted rocks. The kids loved it.