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