Monday, April 23, 2012

Garden Rocks

I have been looking for a good way to mark our garden rows this year, and came across the idea to use painted rocks on Pinterest.  I decided to turn it into an activity that is perfect for the preschool set.  Here is what we did:

1) Purchased a bag of Pond Rocks at Home Depot for $2

2) Violet washed them in the sink with water and a toothbrush.  As she cleaned the rocks, they went from generic-mud-brown to an array of colors.  We were able to observe different colors, speckles, stripes, smooth and rough rocks.  We talked about what we saw as we washed them.

3) Violet put the clean, wet rocks into muffin tins- working on one-to-one correspondence, sorting and classifying.  She wanted to get out the bigger muffin tin for the big rocks that didn't fit in the mini muffin tin.

4) We set the timer for 10 minutes and dried the rocks in the oven at 250 degrees.  She counted down how much longer we had to wait, and we talked about letting Mommy touch the hot oven, not her.

5) Time to paint the rocks!  For easy cleanup, I like to have the kids paint on tinfoil. When they are done, we just fold it up and toss it.  We talked about using one paintbrush for each color, and then when that went awry, we talked about what happens when colors mix.  It was tricky to hold and paint all the sides of the rocks, but they did well.

6) Let the rocks dry completely.

7) Paint the plant names (or kids' names or whatever you choose) on the rocks with white paint.  I did a few with black sharpe marker but don't recommend it- it ran in the last step!  I let Violet try to figure out what each rock said based on the first letter and some hints about each plant.  She recognized her name and her siblings names right away!

8) Spray all sides of the rocks with a coat of Mod Podge Spray Acrylic Finish to make them shiny and weather-proof.  This made the black sharpe marker run, so I was glad I'd used white paint on most of them.

9) Put them in your garden to mark your plants, or in a sandbox or rock pile to add some color and fun.


  1. I wish I had your creative energy! The boys and I pulled weeds the other day and found many earthworms along the way and talked about them. I thought that was pretty good for me! :p I'm so middle school minded these days where everyone is independent and wants to do their own thing and isn't into exploration! :)

  2. What fun! I remember painting rocks in primary school to use for paper weights. It was such a cool project.

  3. She looks so focused. It look like she had fun learning. Those came out awesome. I'm pinning this on my gardening board!

  4. Aw, those are cute! I love the bright colors! And the kids will feel so proud to see their rocks in the garden!


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