Activity Plan: Wishing Rocks
Children will enjoy exploring colors and shapes with this "wish upon a rock" activity.
- Grades: PreK–K
- basin with water
- tempera paints
- glue, glitter, craft sticks
Objective: In addition to exploring colors and shapes, children will develop skill in sorting and comparing, as they find and decorate rocks.
In Advance: Invite children to join you on a hunt to find "wishing rocks." Ask children to look for interesting, mediumsize rocks. Write each child's name on masking tape and label the rocks. Collect the rocks in a bag.
- Talk to children about wishes. Ask them if they are familiar with any stories about wishing, such as the story of Aladdin and his lamp. Have they ever made wishes themselves? When have they made wishes? (birthday wishes? wishing on stars?) What sort of things do they wish for? After you and the children have discussed wishes, invite them to use the rocks they collected to make wishing rocks.
- Ask children to help wash dirt off the rocks at the basin and then dry the rocks. Put the rocks on paper or cloth towels to dry further. While the rocks are drying, discuss with children safety rules about handling rocks.
- Provide paint and paintbrushes. Invite children to put on their smocks and paint their rocks. As children paint, describe what they are doing: "Pilar is painting her rock green. Louis is making yellow and blue stripes." This will also help children learn their classmates' names.
- Put the painted rocks aside to dry. Later, children can apply glue and glitter with craft sticks to the rocks to decorate them further. Be sure to prepare a wishing rock for yourself!
- Take your wishing rock and make a wish aloud. You might want to wish for something pertaining to the new school year. Invite children to share their wishes with classmates. Remember: Wishes sometimes reveal deep feelings, and some children might not be comfortable sharing them this early in the year. You can gently encourage those children who are hesitant to speak by asking them simple questions. ("Your favorite food is tuna fish? Do you wish you could have tuna fish for dinner tonight?") Later display the wishing rocks in a special place in the classroom.
Curriculum Connection: Science
Comparing Weights. Ask children to hold different rocks in their hands and predict which is heavier. Then, using a balance scale, compare the weight of the rocks to other objects in the classroom-and to each other. Are the "bigger" rocks also the heaviest? Which is heavier, a rock or a doll? A rock or a block? Two rocks or a toy truck?
Maisy Goes to School by Lucy Cousins
Make a Wish, Honey Bear! by Marcus Pfister
Stone Soup by Ann McGovern