Playing and Creating with Rocks - My Nearest And Dearest

Playing and Creating with Rocks

Ideas for playing and creating with Rocks at My Nearest and Dearest

The humble rock. It’s one of my favorite loose parts for play. Rocks can be found just about anywhere and can be used for anything a child can dream up. They can be food in a play kitchen or cargo in a toy boat. They can be pushed around, shoveled, and dumped again and again by busy little road crews in the sand box.

Rocks regularly feature prominently in play activities at our house. Here are two ways we’ve played with rocks recently:

Play Invitation #1: Rock People

Lately I’ve been keeping bowls of white and black rocks easily accessible to the kids. During quiet time recently my son Peanut (age 3) and I used them to create rock people.

Invitation to create with rocks

I started by making a face on a piece of white felt. Peanut then made a face of his own, naming its facial features as he placed the rocks.

Creating with rocks at My Nearest and Dearest

Next, I made a simple rock person.

Rock person by My Nearest and Dearest

We then took turns using small white rocks to give our friend a face and feet.

Making rock people at My Nearest and Dearest


Rock Person by My Nearest and Dearest blog

Peanut moved on to creating another rock person, without any help from me. Here he is below. I love this picture. :)

Child made rock person

After he’d finished the little guy above, Peanut asked if we could make our original rock person “tall like Daddy”. I said yes and gave him time to think about how we might do this.

Rock people kids creative activity at My Nearest and Dearest

With me as his consultant, he added rocks to extend the figure’s legs and neck.

Creating people out of rocks at My Nearest and Dearest

After he’d had enough of making rock people, Peanut brought a little bin of cars and trucks to the play table. He was very careful to make sure that our rock person would not be disturbed by all the vehicles. His little danger signs kept Rock Man safe and sound. :)

Playing with rocks at My Nearest and Dearest

Making rock people is a simple and completely free creative activity that can be done by children of any age (it’s satisfying for adults too!). For a more challenging take on rock people, introduce your older children to Inukshuks.

Play Invitation #2: Black Sand and White Rocks

Invitation to play with white rocks and black sand at My Nearest and Dearest blogFor this play invitation, I simply poured black sand into a plastic container and added white rocks, arranged from largest to smallest (with more rocks in a small bowl). Depending on the age and interests of the child, a play invitation like this might lead to sorting and ordering the rocks, counting them, forming letters with them, or even just burying and uncovering them.

As a three-year old who is heavily into imaginative play, Peanut used the sand and rocks as ingredients for baking. I confess that I can’t quite remember what he made, as I was tidying the kitchen while he played, but I think it was pancakes with rock “sprinkles”.

Black Sand and White rocks Play Invitation from My Nearest and Dearest

The sand and rocks remained in our play table for a couple of days and provided plenty of amusement for Peanut and the little boy who comes to our house for daycare.

playing with black sand and white rocks

Although the black sand was a new and visually appealing material, it turned the boys’ hands black. Next time I’ll take a cue from my blogging pal, Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy and put together a salt tray with rocks instead.

More ideas for creating, learning and playing with rocks from some of my favorite blogs:

Letter Stones from Buggy and Buddy

Teaching Shapes and Colors with Rainbow Rocks from Fun-A-Day

Make Your Own “Rock” Band from Fantastic Fun and Learning. They have an entire series devoted to rocks with lots of fun and creative activities.

Fine Motor Practice with Rocks from Connecting Family and Seoul

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Painted Rocks from Thrive 360 Living. This post includes tips on painting rocks and links to several other beautiful painted rock projects.

Magic Fairy Painted Rocks and Storage Tower from Twodaloo.

Rock Tower Bakery from The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Rock Monsters from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

Thanks for reading!


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