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(And 19 other activities that don’t involve electronics)
Rock painting is a great activity for kids of all ages and abilities. I love it because it can be done indoors or outside, depending on the weather.
What I love even more? It can be done (relatively) mess free. I stock up on dollar-store plastic table covers. When we need to be indoors, we can protect the table, and simply roll up the tablecloth and toss it out when we’re done. If it’s not too messy, we’ll fold it up and re-use it the next time. Either way, my kids can get their creative on, and I don’t have to deal with a large mess. Win-win!
In fact, so far this spring we’ve had a lot of rain. Like, soooo much rain that I have thought about building the ark. I’ve been itching to get the family outside and away from electronics. Couple that with the recent COVID-19 pandemic (and a 5 week school closure) — I am planning for A LOT of indoor time! Rock painting is a creative activity that will give my kids a break from the tablets.
Have Fun & Spread Joy
Searching for an electronic-free activity, and trying to steer clear of a chorus of “I’m bored,” I came across a community rock painting project – My City Rocks. This community effort has swept the nation! People paint rocks and leave them in public places for others to find. Sometimes the rocks have cute images painted on them, whereas others will have an inspirational word or message. The idea is to brighten the day of the person who finds it. The finder can either keep the rock, or move it to a new location.
Find the initiative in your city
I’ve painted rocks with my kids for years – they have their own little garden in our yard. Looking at them always brings a smile to my face. Moreover, it’s a sign of spring. Now, with the My City Rocks initiative, I love that we can bring that joy to others.
If you’re wondering whether your community has this initiative, look no further than Facebook. Simply type in [your town name] Rocks, and click on the Facebook page with that name. Painters and finders alike share pictures and give clues as to their rocks’ whereabouts.
Start oN your own, or use a Beginners Guide
Visit RockPaintingGuide.Com for a list of supplies and tutorials. We use an acrylic clear spray paint to preserve our designs. Because my daughter has some fine motor challenges, we find simple designs and use painting markers. [Hint: Sharpie makes an oil paint marker that can be sealed with Mod Podge before sealing with a clear spray (so the paint doesn’t run)] That’s the beauty of this project – it can be as simple or as detailed as you want!
Making Art Accessible
Modifying art supplies can make projects like these more accessible to kids with special needs.
- Those with fine motor skill difficulties may need markers or brushes with thick handles for easier gripping.
- For thin markers or handles, a pencil-grip might help.
- Velcro wrapped around to hold the marker or brush in place may be helpful for some kids.
- Heavier materials may help a child with tremors or coordination difficulties (or benefit from a weight placed on the forearm or wrist).
- If your child receives OT, check to see what (s)he recommends.
Rock painting is fun for the whole family. Coupled with local initiatives like My City Rocks, it also helps teach kids about the value of kindness.
Do you have other suggestions to make this art project more accessible? Leave a comment!
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