Painted rocks are a classic nature craft, and one that my kids never tire of! It’s a great little craft that doesn’t need much preparation, and suits pretty much all ages of child. It’s also brilliant for those days when the weather isn’t fantastic but you’d still like to get hands-on with some natural materials.
Here’s how to make your own painted rocks.
We use rocks and pebbles from our garden for this craft (I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to remove rocks and stones from beaches and public areas). If you don’t have any in your own garden you can pick them up in DIY or craft stores.
It’s nice to have a chat with the kids about size, shape and texture while choosing your rocks; this time we went for a real contrast in size.
We used standard acrylic paints on our rocks; this is fine if they’re going to be kept indoors once you’ve finished painting them, but if you want to keep them outdoors it’s better to use outdoor acrylic paint, which is weatherproof. It’s worth having a few different sizes of paintbrush, so that you can add finer details or great big bands of colour easily.
I like just letting the kids go for it with the paints; sometimes they have an idea in mind before they start, and sometimes they just see where their imagination takes them.
Our little pebbles were crying out to be turned into minibeasts – we ended up with quite a family of them! You could easily turn these into a number activity for younger children, with different numbers of spots or stripes to encourage counting and simple maths.
Here’s our finished collection of painted rocks – what do you think?
I love how this simple nature craft really encourages creative thinking, and it’s perfect for exploring colour, texture and shape too.
I think we’ll have a go at some painted stones for the garden next time – it would be lovely for the kids to make a marker for each type of seed or plant they’re growing this year. It’s also a great way to keep track of what we’ve planted where; given the amount of ball games that go on in our garden, I think rocks will stay put much better than little plastic markers!
You can also check out my heart nature crafts post which has a lovely variation on painted stones for kids to try.
Will you be having a go at making your own painted rocks?