This week we are creating in a way that connects us to nature AND we can do it outside!
Rock art has been around since petroglyphs (rock carvings). Cave paintings are some of the earliest forms of rock art, dating back to the Stone Age (Paleolithic).
The Pet Rock even became a “thing” in the 1970’s!
Painting rocks as art, pets, gifts or a way to connect with nature and each other is still such a fun way to be creative and express yourself.
As you and your little one head outside, let them know that they will be using whatever rocks they find as a canvas. They will be creating/painting on it.
Ideally, the rocks would be smooth so that your little one doesn't get frustrated by all the nooks and crannies they can't get the paint into!
If they're not perfectionistic or frustrated by things like that, then don't worry about it.
Once you have gathered as many rocks as you’d like, bring them inside, wash them with soap and water and let them dry sufficiently. Leaving them outside in the sun to dry will speed up this process.
They can paint whatever they want on it once dry.
When I did this with my children years ago I got all the paint colors out and just led by example.
I created rocks that represented all the elements: the air, fire, water, etc.
On one I painted a neon rainbow. It was summer, so my daughter painted a lovely lemon.
My son painted a ladybug. Those are just a few ideas to keep it nature based.
These can be scattered about in the garden, a window box or placed on your nature table indoors for the related season. For instance, we have our lemon rock out in the summer.
Making art with your children and creating your own painted rock(s) will help deepen your bond and encourage them to get creative, not holding back or trying to make it look “perfect” as there are really no “rules.”
For this project you will need acrylic paint and then ideally some high gloss spray paint finish to waterproof them and allow them not to fade or yellow, especially if you placed them outdoors. Ours have lasted for years outside and are placed throughout the garden. As little hidden gems.
People paint rocks and put them in random places throughout the community just to cheer folks up. There are many opportunities to share this as a blessing to others and many books exist to give you ideas for designs and sharing.
Just keep in mind, the main point of this isn't to create a masterpiece.
It is to allow your ideas, imagination and emotions to come out through the paintbrush and onto your canvas, which is the rock.
It is to be able to express yourself freely.
It is to be thinking about nature and connecting with the elements… what they would look like, feel like and to be enjoying the great outdoors as you do this project (if at all possible)—plus, it helps with cleanup!
No painting skills or experience needed so go get your creative juices flowing as you venture out together in search of your "canvas"!