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Updated: Feb 10, 2021

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 and that can be a vehicle for them to give back to their communities in a unique way, you're going to love this one.

Here's what you need to DIY:

  • 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

  • a small amount of biodegradable glitter (optional)

  • a black permanent marker if you want to include a message on your rock

  • working on a non-carpeted area is preferred!


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, another rock or a plastic egg carton turned upside down. Several coats of glue make the rocks shiny and durable.

Try making a rainbow on your rock and blending the colors. Adding a prism to your environment and/or reading books about rainbows can be a great opportunity to enhance this experience.

Distributing rocks is a great way to promote early childhood education and to get your personal message out to the world.

If you like this project, 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.

Everything you need to get started on a continuing rock art project, including the pre-sanitized rocks,in a box. All proceeds for Rockits! go to early childhood rocks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing sensory and emotional experiences to young children.

If you want to learn more about how early childhood rocks gives back, click here!

Nanci J Bradley, 60+, is an early childhood and family educator, parent, 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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