Rainbow Rock Project


I'm so happy to share my latest family-oriented project with you today!


If you're a fan of sensory smart, paint-free, STEM, social studies, literature, fine-motor and fun activities that kids can do independently you're going to love this one.


The only way it could get messy is if you do on or near a carpeted area. Here's what you need:


  • Large, smooth rocks (collect them near water or buy them from a craft store)

  • oil pastels (I got the kind for little hands that don't roll off the table)

  • clear glue

  • a brush

  • a towel to keep the table clean from little pieces of oil pastel

  • ROY G. BIV to teach the order of the colors in a rainbow Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet



You can clean the rocks if needed with soap, water, and an old toothbrush. Let them dry.


Use the oil pastels to decorate the rocks. It's much neater than paint! It's also very forgiving because of the ability to blend and overlap the colors. The harder you press and the more time you spend filling in the empty spots, the better your rock turns out!


You can use the brush or your finger to blend the oil pastels and to swipe off the stray pieces of color as you go.


Use the clear glue and the brush to seal your work. I let mine dry on top of a domino.


Of course, the design doesn't have to be a rainbow. I just like them because they can help teach the science of light and color. Also, Roy G. Biv teaches phonics. Social studies can be brought in with a discussion of the use of rainbows to represent equality in society.


Adding a prism to your environment and/or reading books about rainbows can be a great opportunity to enhance this experience.


If you like this idea, you can find lots more family-friendly fun here, on my website. I created it to be a virtual playground for parents and providers to connect.


Nanci J Bradley, 60, is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI







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