Stone Crafts for Kids

by Penelope Longfellow

    Some of the best crafting materials for your child can be found in abundance and free of charge in your own backyard. Stones provide kids with a blank canvas for innumerable art projects with paint, glue, glitter and other mediums. Collect rocks of varying shapes, sizes, colors and textures for unlimited possibilities in creating stone crafts with your kids.

    Give an update to the classic pet rock and create a series of stone creatures with your children. Choose a theme, if desired, such as sea, zoo or farm animals. Affix a pair of googly eyes to each stone using craft glue. Cut shapes from felt, card stock or construction paper to represent characteristic features of your creatures, such as noses, ears, manes, paws and tails. Affix the shapes to the stone with craft glue, and allow the glue to dry overnight. Finish by drawing in details unique to each creatures with a permanent, fine-point marker and allow the marker to dry before use.

    Make a puzzle from stones with your child. Gather a collection of flat rocks that has been cleaned and dried. Together, sort through the rocks and arrange them in a shape of your child's choosing, such as a rectangle, square or circle. On a separate piece of paper, have your child draw a scene approximately the same dimensions as your arrangement of stones. Section off the paper scene to match the configuration of stones using a bold marker. Assist your child in copying each portion of the larger picture with acrylic paints onto the corresponding stones. When the paint has thoroughly dried, mix up the stones and piece them back together to recreate the scene.

    Create an opportunity for narration and other imaginative play by making storytelling stones. Find flat stones with an area large enough to contain a single image. Clean the stones thoroughly with warm water and dish soap, and allow them to air dry. Provide your child with fine-tip brushes and acrylic paint to create pictures of a single character or object on each stone. Choose generic images, such as "boy," "girl," "dog" and "house," or let a theme, such as "the Wild West" or "circus," guide your picture choices. After the set is complete and dry, tell stories based on the characters and objects on the stones.

    Turn stones into precious jewels for treasure hunts or any other play activity requiring a little sparkle. Clean your stones with warm water and soap and allow them to dry. Mix a one-to-one ratio of water to white school glue in a cup or jar. Have your child use a bristle or foam paintbrush to apply a thin coat of glue over one half of a stone. Dip the sticky portion of the stone into a bowl or plate of glitter, shake off the excess glitter and allow the glue to dry. Repeat the process with the other half of the stone for complete glitter coverage. If desired, finish the treasure stones with a topcoat of glue, allowing it to dry completely before engaging in play.

    About the Author

    Penelope Longfellow has been writing professionally since 2001. She holds a graduate certificate in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Longfellow's work has appeared at Change.org and in "Cape Fear Parent" magazine.

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