The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many changes to our family. The biggest adjustment we’ve had to make in these challenging times is from regular school to homeschooling. It’s not been easy for my kids and me to adapt to this new setup. We always have to think of activities that will boost their energy and relieve their boredom.
We constantly find ourselves thinking about what to do next in our art classes. We’ve tried different activities, including drawing, water painting, paper mache, and simple logo making.
Stimulating your child’s creativity with rock painting
Recently, we were introduced to rock painting, and being newbies, we turned to the internet for some easy rock painting ideas. We even watched a short clip to learn how to do rock painting.
With everything that we saw online, my kids and I couldn’t help but feel intimidated by the cute rock painting images people have shared, but we still decided to give it a try. After all, there is always a 1st time, and homeschooling gives us much flexibility.
Rock painting prep
Although rock painting kits are readily available for purchase, we couldn’t depend on the delivery services in our area due to the lockdowns and restrictions. So, what better way to start than preparing everything from scratch?
Here are some of the preparations we made for our 1st-ever rock painting session:
Rocks to paint
There are sellers who offer various rocks for rock painting. At some locations, it’s prohibited to take rocks for personal use. Since we have a little garden beside our house that I’d previously adorned with rocks, I decided to let my kids explore it and choose the rock suited to whatever design they had in mind.
I just instructed them to look for rocks that were round and smooth so they could be painted easily. The rocks we used actually came from the ground, so we had to brush them to remove the dirt and air-dried them afterward.
Acrylic paint pens
Since both my kids are rock painting beginners, I let them use special acrylic paint pens for rock painting that come in multipacks with many colors to choose from. The fine tip of the acrylic paint pen also makes it much easier to draw the chosen design. Plus, they’re not messy to use at all.
Just in case your kids are fond of acrylic paint and paintbrushes, rest assured that you can use them for your rock painting. Acrylic paint can be considered the best paint for rocks because:
- It dries fast and is resistant to water once your rock painting dries out.
- It is water-soluble and can easily be cleaned with soap and water.
- It is perfect for kids because it is less toxic and has fewer fumes than oil-based paints.
- It is flexible and can be used on almost any surface as long as that surface doesn’t have any wax or oil on it because acrylic paint can’t “hold” on to it.
If you intend to keep your kids’ rock painting as memorabilia, the best way to preserve the paint intact is by “sealing” it. The sealer prevents the paint from smudging and fading. You have the following options:
- Aerosol sealer spray: This is perfect for beginners. It’s very easy to use and requires only 2-3 coats. Just be sure to spray at least 12 inches away from the rock in a sweeping motion. It’s also recommended to use an aerosol spray under adult supervision to avoid any incident.
- Paint-on varnish: This is ideal for those sensitive to odors and can be used indoors. When using a paint-on varnish, you’ll notice that it can be a little cloudy as you paint it in your rock, but fret not—it will clear out as it dries. Wait until 1 layer dries out before applying another.
You can decide on your finish and choose from glossy, satin, or matte. Just make sure to get a weather-resistant and non-yellowing one should you decide to include this step in your rock painting project.
What to draw
Once we had the materials we needed, we sat down and discussed what the children wanted their rocks to look like. I thought of integrating our homeschool lessons with rock painting—2 birds with 1 stone, right?
Since we’re currently dealing with virtues, I told them to think about a virtue that they believe they possess. I also asked some follow-up questions to advance the conversation. Who says that rock painting is all art? It can also be a good bonding exercise, allowing you to learn about your kids’ thoughts and feelings.
We decided to do 2 rock paintings, and I gave them the freedom to choose what they wanted to paint on the other rock. I gave them different ideas, and we looked for samples, too.
You can also find many rock painting ideas online, like dot rock painting, blending rock painting, paint pouring, mandala rock painting, and floral rock painting, to name a few.
How to paint rocks
The materials are available, the kids already have something to paint in mind, so let’s get started!
We decided to do our rock painting project outside of our usual study area on a sunny day. We settled on our terrace this time, and the kids started to paint the rocks, their curiosity growing as they kept at it.
Here are a few questions they asked:
- What are the steps to paint rocks? Remember GPS, which stands for Get a rock, Paint, and Seal. I chose this acronym because it’s something my kids are familiar with, so it will definitely be easy for them to recall should they want to do rock painting again.
- Mommy, my rocks are not smooth. What can I do? Wood filler and sandpaper are the keys. To even out the rock surface, you can use wood filler and smoothen it with sandpaper.
- Can we use our watercolors instead? While acrylic pens and paints are commonly used for rock paintings, you can use watercolors, too. If you have them lying around, you can also use crayons, chalk, and oil pastel.
- What happens if we don’t seal our painted rock? Your work might not be protected from scratches and moisture, which will affect its quality in the long run.
- I accidentally had acrylic paint/ink on my favorite white shirt; will we be able to remove it? Definitely! Just soak the stained area with isopropyl alcohol for 15 minutes and gently brush the paint or ink off. Do this until your shirt is as good as new,
But wait, there’s more!
Rock painting means flexibility. There’s a variety of materials you can use other than those mentioned above, including different types of paint brushes, stencils, temporary tattoos, transfer papers, alcohol inks, and glitter.
From materials to designs, the possibilities are endless. Your kids will enjoy this activity and will definitely want to do rock painting again, as my kids did. So, instead of having your kids lie in bed watching TV or using a gadget, let their creativity flow through rock painting.
Enjoying rock painting while learning
While it’s vital to do well academically in homeschooling, it is also essential to do activities that will stimulate your kids’ creativity. This will allow them to express themselves through art. Your kids, like mine, don’t need to be the best when it comes to arts because children excel in different areas. The important thing is that they do their best in everything they try. In my family, rock painting will be one of our go-to art activities from now on.