10+ stone activities for kids: Fun and educational ways to play and learn with stones and rocks (and some fabulous ways to craft with stones too!) .
One of our favourite annual treks is a hike on the beach where we collect a bunch of new stones and rocks to replenish our collection at home. We load up our buckets, bags and pockets and we haul our new stones home. Over the weeks and months to come, they find their way into almost every little corner of our yard and home, and they’re enjoyed in so many ways.
10 Stone Activities for Kids:
Here are 10 of our favourite, simple stone activities here in my home daycare.
Letter Stones – I painted uppercase and lowercase letters, with acrylic paints, on small flat beach stones. When the paint was dry, I gave them a quick coat of spray varnish to weather-proof them. Younger children can explore the letters through play, while older children can form sight words with them.
Crystallized Beach Rocks
Crystallized Beach Rocks – It’s so easy to turn ordinary beach stones into gorgeous crystallized rocks! It involves a simple but fascinating science experiment. Once you’ve crystallized your stones, they’re fun to colour and give as gifts! See how to make these crystallized beach stones here.
We turned ordinary beach stones into gorgeous paperweights with our liquid chalk markers. The process was really slick, and our paperweights make great gifts for kids to give to parents, grandparents and teachers.
Water Displacement Activity
Water Displacement Activity: The hooligans love to drop the small, round stones into a jar of water so we did this fun water displacement experiment so they could see what happens to the level of the water when you add rocks to it.
Pour-Painted Beach Stones
Pour-Painted Beach Stones: This is one of my favourite crafts involving beach stones. We turned a bunch of smooth beach rocks into these funky, vibrant stone paper-weights. They process was amazing, and the results were fab!
Chocolate Box Rocks
Chocolate Box Rocks: Fill an empty chocolate box with a variety of small colourful stones. Toddlers will have fun simply putting the stones in and out of the box, and older children can pay closer attention to the shapes of the stones, trying to match them with a similar-shaped space in the box.
Stacking and Building
Stacking larger beach rocks: We always have a stack of larger beach rocks piled up in one corner of our back deck. The hooligans play with these almost every day. Most often they stack the rocks, but they also love scrubbing them with toothbrushes and soapy water, or simply “painting” the rocks with a paintbrush dipped in water.
Story Stones: Story stones are lots of fun! I had a blast making ours, and the hooligans love playing with them. They are wonderful storytelling prompts. A child reaches into the basket, draws out a stone, and must use whatever is on the stone in a sentence i.e. “I was riding a
A child reaches into the basket, draws out a stone, and must use whatever is on the stone in a sentence i.e. “I was riding a blue elephant“, and either they or another child draws another stone and continues, “when I saw a dog playing with a red ball“. We have a collection of about 50-60 story stones, so it’s a new game every time we play. You can
We have a collection of about 50-60 story stones, so it’s a new game every time we play. You can see how I made our story stones here.
Stones in the Outdoor Kitchen
Domino Stones: Little ones have fun counting the dots and making matches, while older kids can actually play a game of dominoes. Make your dots by dipping the end of a paintbrush handle in black acrylic paint and press it to an oblong beach stone. When the paint is dry, finish with a coat of spray varnish or polish with a bit of bee’s wax.
Number Stones: These stones have numbers on one side and corresponding dots on the other side. Much like the letter stones, I painted these with acrylics, and gave them a spray of clear coat varnish when the paint had dried.
Painting Rocks: Painting rocks with colourful paint is always fun! We’re making stone paper weights for Father’s Day in this project.
Tea Party with Loose Parts
Tea Party with loose parts: Often we just mix up a bunch of loose parts – stones, pinecones, shells, artificial flowers etc., and we have a little tea party like this. It’s a simple activity, but there’s lots of opportunity for exploration, fun and learning in even the simplest of activities.
And you might like these stone activities from a few fellow kid-bloggers:
Five Little Ducks by Red Ted Art
Shape & Colour Rocks by Fun-a-day
Pebble Puzzle by Strasilo
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.