Painting with Rocks

Table of contents for R is for Rocks

  1. 30 Playful Ways to Teach Young Kids About Rocks

Another activity we did during our R is for Rocks theme was painting with rocks. We love to explore painting with different types of materials, and this one turned out to be one of my favorite paintings yet (although I probably have to quit saying that soon!).  I love that the kids could work cooperatively to create their masterpiece.


Paint with Rocks

We went BIG with this project, so I set everything up outside. I taped a large piece of white paper to our folding table. You could also use a piece of sturdy cardboard or another sturdy surface.  Just be sure it will hold up to the weight of your rocks.

Then I placed a piece of cardboard on the ground to serve as the landing pad. I didn’t want the rocks rolling into the grass and getting all dirty, because we would be reusing them throughout the activity.

I used our picnic table to prop up the folding table, so that the kids could roll the rocks down the incline to create their painting.

Then we gathered our paint and rocks.  We had one large bin of rocks, but I also gave each of the kids their own bowls of rocks. This made it easier for them to spread out at the top of the table and gave them something to collect the rocks in after they had all been dropped to the ground.

Painting with Rocks Materials

Before adding any paint I had the kids practice rolling the rocks down the paper a bit. They explored different ways to let the rock move down the incline. We talked about rolling, sliding, and tossing.  This part of the activity  gave us the chance to talk a little about gravity, too.

We also practiced getting down and collecting all of the rocks to start over again. I wanted the kids to see that it was important for everyone to stop rolling rocks and go down together to collect the fallen rocks so that nobody would get hit with a rock. And as it turns out the only one who got hit with a rock was me…trying to take pictures!

Rock Painting


Then it was time for the paint! I added a bit of paint at the top of the paper, and the kids got started. We added more paint as needed, and the kids stopped every now and then to go down and gather more rocks. They all enjoyed painting and watching the colors mix. And even though they were really close together on the top of that table, they worked together very well.

Painting with Rocks

This was our final masterpiece. After it dried we took the extra bits of rock off, and it is now proudly hanging in a window overlooking our outdoor play space. It’s really very beautiful!

Rock and Roll Painting #ece


What kinds of large paintings have your kids made? Have you ever painted with rocks? What about trying this with something like balls or cars? We’ve tried both!

You can find more activities and ideas for teaching kids about rocks on my Pinterest boards.

Get a full week of playful rock theme ideas!

Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.








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Home Preschool  Rocks Theme Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Rocks Theme Lesson Plans


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  1. I just found this idea on Pinterest and pinned it. My preschooler and toddler would really love this activity and the results are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We’ve painted on rocks but never with them 🙂

  3. That looks great!….quite a lot or organising required but big reward by the look of it. I love the fact that you sneaked gravity in – genius!
    I’m going to add a link to this on our FB page….

  4. Stephanie Shipley says:

    What a cute idea! My son and sisters would have a ton of fun doing this!

  5. Looking at your pictures, I suggest next time put a piece of paper over your cardboard on the bottom and see what comes out from the rocks landing on the bottom. You could have two pretty pictures at one time!

  6. How fun! Pinning it!

  7. I’m featuring this awesome activity on The Sunday Showcase tomorrow!

  8. This is such a fun clever idea! And I love your colorful finished project! I am featuring this today at TGIF here:

    Feel free to grab a button if you like. Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity! I hope to see you linked up again SOON!

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

    • Shaunna says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words and the feature! We love the finished project here, too…still proudly on display!

  9. I’d never have thought of this, but its just the sort of play my boys like, I think we’ll have to give it a go

    • Shaunna says:

      It is definitely great for hands-on, active kids. I think mine enjoyed the “practice” rolling as much as the painting part. 🙂

  10. Oh man, how FUN! We will definitely do this one, if we ever get some nice weather 😉 Thanks for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!

    • Shaunna says:

      I’m sure nice weather has to be coming soon. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the activity…we definitely did!

  11. Oh my goodness I love this! Mine are going to love doing this, thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Neato! The kids look like they had so much fun! 🙂

  13. This is a brilliant idea, it looks like so much fun – I’m sharing this on the Kids Coop FB page

  14. I looooooove this art idea! The combination of movement and art is wonderful. If you are able to, I’d love for you to come by and link up some of your great ideas at Stress-Free Sunday. 🙂

  15. This is awesome!! I *love* how big it is! I’m going to share this on my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!

  16. That looks like a ton of fun! I’m pinning this to do when the weather warms up a bit more so I can hose us off if it gets too messy. We did a large painting outside with our feet after reading Mouse Paint last summer, and it’s still decorating our family room walls. I could use another one to go with it!

    • It really was a ton of fun! But definitely something to try when you can hose them off outside…we used the water table and the kids had fun playing afterward. I love the idea of the Mouse Paint activity!

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