Add a little creativity and almost anything can have that personal touch!
- Tempera paints
- Glue, glitter, and craft sticks
Objective: Children will exercise their creative-thinking skills as they create treasures from simple rocks they find outside.
In Advance: Take your children on a "rock hunt" walk near your center of school. Ask them to look for medium-size rocks or stones, about the size of a paper weight. Children can use their fists to help them determine the approximate size. Put some masking tape on each rock and label with children's names. Collect the rocks in a cloth or shopping bag.
- Gather your group at a table outdoors and dismiss safety rules about handling rocks.
- Using only the rocks of the children who are currently gathered at your table, encourage your group to make size, shape, and color comparisons. You can ask, "Which rock is larger? Which one is flattest? Which rock feels the heaviest?" Ask children to think of words to describe their rocks.
- After children put on their smocks, put out their paints. Ask children to help wash the dirt off the rocks and dry them. Then invite children to paint their rocks.
- Describe how children are painting their rocks. "Javan is painting his whole rock with green paint. Cory is using blue paint for the bumps on her rock. Louis is making yellow and blue stripes." Ask children to look at and talk about what their classmates are doing.
- Let the rocks dry. Later on, children can decorate them by making glue designs with craft sticks, then shaking on glitter.
- Admire your group's wonderful rock treasures.
For younger children: Allow children to dip their smaller rocks in small pots of paint to get colorful creations when manipulating a small paintbrush is too difficult.
For older children: Using a balance scale, compare the weight of children's rocks with other classroom objects such as dolls, blocks, and balls.
OBSERVATIONS: Do any children have difficulty controlling their paintbrushes? If so, demonstrate different kinds of simple grips.
Notice the different ways children cover the surface of their rocks with paint.
SPIN OFF: 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. Invite them to use the rocks they decorated to make "wishing rocks." Encourage children to hold up their rocks and make a wish. Then invite children to share their wishes with their classmates. What sort of things do they wish for?
Make a Wish, Honey Bear! by Marcus Pfister
Maisy Goes to School by Lucy Cousins
Stone Soup by Ann McGovern