To start, you need large containers with lids, paper, and paints (I used craft paint just because I had it and need to use it up. It’s more permanent on clothes, but most of the mess stays inside the cans, and I was doing this on a messy clothes day anyway. You could certainly use the more friendly tempera paint.) Oh, and you’ll need rocks! Lots of little rocks. Doing this activity outside is certainly helpful!
Slide the paper into the canister (you may need to trim to fit), and drop in a handful of small rocks. Some children love picking out each individual rock.
Drop in a few colors of paint onto the rocks, seal the lid, and then, with one hand on the lid and one hand on the bottom, have the children shake, rattle, and roll. (Though for literal rolling, be sure they don’t have larger rocks inside, and that they’re not kicking it. These two factors can lead to the lid popping off.)
When the children are done shaking, take out the paper for a cool look at how the rocks transferred the paint!
As a fun by-product, you also get some really uniquely painted rocks. Set them all out to dry. If you’re doing this out in the summer sun, it shouldn’t take too long!
This activity fosters creativity as well as large motor skills. It would be a great activity to use in a unit on rocks, sound, or colors. It’s also just a great outdoor art activity. So shake things up and try painting with rocks!