Creative Things You Can Do With Rocks
"There is life in a stone.
Any stone that sits in a
field or lies on a beach
takes on the memory of
that place. You can feel
that stones have witnessed
so many things."
- Andy Goldsworthy
Here are our ideas of simple activities for creative thinking and learning with rocks!What You Will Need:
Start a Rock Collection
Find a Worry Stone
- Look closely at the rocks around you. Notice the colors and patterns in the rocks. When you find a rock you like, place it in your collection.
- Display your collection in a plastic case (to use for indoor storage) or in an old flower pot (for outdoor storage). Think of creative containers that will display your rocks in interesting ways.
- Use a Rocks and Minerals Field Guide to identify the rocks in your collection.
- For an interesting collection, find rocks of different colors and shapes. Look for cracks, imperfections, or impressions.
- Create a collection of rocks with the same color. For example, only collect rocks that are white with black specks.
- Make up stories about where the rock came from, how it arrived in your yard, and what it has been through on it's journey. Be creative!
- Use a Loupe or Magnifying Glass to look closely at your rocks.
- NOTE: Please make sure you have permission to take the rocks you find before adding them to your collection. If you find rocks in a public place, such as a park or beach, you may want to create a collection by placing the rocks you find together in one spot, and leaving them there for someone else to enjoy. If you have a digital camera, you can take a picture of your collection before leaving it.
Worry Stones are an ancient tradition, and can be used as a tool to help you relax and lessen your worries. They are fun to keep in your pocket, and are perfect for people who like to have something to do with their hands while reading, studying, or thinking.
Skip a Rock
- The best Worry Stones are small, smooth stones that fit easily between your thumb and fingers. When looking for a rock to be used as your Worry Stone, you may want to try out several rocks until you find one that suits you.
- Hold your Worry Stone between your thumb and index finger and rub the stone. This action is said to reduce stress and has a calming effect.
- Keep your Worry Stone in your pocket and rub it while you go for a walk or read a book.
Learning to skip a rock across the water is an experience every child enjoys! The requirements are very simple: calm water and flat stones.
Create a Cairn (or Rock Tower)
- An important step in skipping rocks is to find a good skipping rock! Look for a flat, smooth rock no bigger than your palm. The idea is to hit the water with the flat edge of the rock at a very low angle, so it skims the surface of the water, skipping several times before sinking. The rock shouldn't be too heavy (it will sink) or too light (it won't have enough weight to skip).
- To make the flat edge of your rock hit the water, you will need to throw the rock using a sidearm throw. Hold the rock between your thumb and index finger, with your middle finger beneath the rock. Stand slightly sideways and hold the rock horizontal to the ground. Flick your wrist to help the rock "spin" out of your hand, off your index finger. (Think of the rock as a flying saucer, spinning as you throw it).
- Once you've successfully skipped a rock, teach someone else how to do it!
- Determine which rocks skip best, and which rocks simply sink.
- Have a contest with your friends or family to see who can create the most skips, whose rock travels across the water the furthest, or whose rock made the biggest splash!
is simply a manmade pile of rocks. Cairns have been used in ancient times as memorials and as landmarks.
Adopt a Pet Rock
- Find rocks in your yard that can be stacked one on top of another to form a cairn or rock tower. Place the largest rock on the bottom to be used as the base for all the other rocks. Rocks that have a flat side work best for stacking.
- How high can you safely build your rock tower?
- Once complete, your tower of rocks can be used as a decoration in your yard or garden, or even brought inside for your kitchen table.
Pet Rocks were popular in the 1970s - now you can find your own Pet Rock!
Invent a Game
- Find a rock that you would like to use as your Pet Rock. Consider the shape, size, color, and texture of the rock when making your decision.
- Once you have the perfect Pet Rock - teach it tricks! For example, you can make it come to you when called - here's how: Place your Pet Rock on the ground, tell it to "stay", then take several steps backwards. Tell your Pet Rock to "come" as you slowly inch your way toward the rock. Before you know it, your Pet Rock will be at your feet! You can also teach your Pet Rock to roll over - here's how: Place your Pet Rock at the top of a hill and tell it to "stay". With a very gently push, tell your Pet Rock to "roll over". If your Pet Rock is in an agreeable mood, it will be rolling over and over down the hill.
- Find a special place in your yard for your Pet Rock to live. Perhaps at the base of a tree, under a shrub, or in a flower pot.
- Don't forget to give your Pet Rock a name, and visit it often!
Rocks have lots of creative uses! Get creative and invent games to play with one or more rocks.
Decorate with Pebbles
- Gather several rocks and invent a game to play with them. For example, Rock Bowling - Set up tall narrow rocks on your driveway to use as the pins. Use a large round rock as the bowling ball. Roll the rock to score points by knocking down the pins.
- Play "Penny Hockey" with rocks on your sidewalk or driveway. (Click the link to read how to play this game).
- Share your games with family and friends!
Small stones can be used to decorate a variety of household items. All you need are a few pebbles and some glue.
- Find small colorful rocks and glue them to a plain picture frame.
- Use hot glue (with adult supervision, please) and glue small rocks to a clear glass vase. Fill in the gaps with smaller stones and pebbles.
- Glue rocks together to create rock sculptures. Make animals or people out of the rocks. Be creative!
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