Rock Painting

Rock Painting (8)

Veronika has enjoyed painting methods in the past that involve closing a box lid, rattling something around, and seeing the messy artwork that results (think a toddler Jackson Pollock).

She also loves rocks, so this craft combined the two perfectly! She loves to collect pebbles, and considers the most mundane little ones her “treasure.” Today I asked if she wanted to paint with one of her rocks.

I cut a square of watercolor paper to fit inside a small shoebox, then set out a few colors of paint on paper plates. I next showed her how to dip a rock in the paint. “Can you dip yours?” Yes!

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“Should we put it in the box?” Yes!

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Close the lid and help your toddler shake the box around.

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When you open it up, the rock will have splattered paint in neat designs. We quickly repeated with a second color.

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I loved watching Veronika put her own spin on the project, too. After a few rounds of shaking the box, she actually preferred to dip the rock in one of the paint colors and then dot it onto the paper. A rock paintbrush!

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After that she discovered that she could be her own canvas. So this project turned into not just rock painting, but Veronika painting. Bath time!

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Either way, the resulting craft makes such pretty little postcard-sized works of art that perhaps we’ll use them for thank you notes!

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Indian Corn Squish Bag and Painting

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Indian corn makes a beautiful decoration this time of year. And not only does it look great on a harvest table or doorway, but it makes for fantastic sensory play, too!

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Today, I set out three ears of this multicolored corn on a tray for Veronika and first just invited her over. She wanted to smell it, one of the first ways she likes to approach a new item.

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We discovered that if we cracked an ear in half, we could then pick off the hard kernels. This left behind smooth divots underneath. She loved running her finger over the cob, feeling the contrast between these soft and hard parts.

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Next, we turned the corn kernels into part of a sensory bag. I didn’t have any hair gel on hand to fill a small zip-top bag, but corn syrup worked in a pinch. I added a little seasonally-appropriate yellow food coloring, and then some of the corn kernels we’d pulled from the cob.

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Seal tightly and pass over to your child. “It’s a squishy bag!” Veronika said with delight, now familiar with the concept. And this one was great for squishing. She could squeeze it between two fists…

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…or chase around little kernels of corn with a finger.

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With a few corn cobs still on the tray, we decided that they would be fun to paint with. I pulled out brown, red, and green, and poured a little of each color onto a plate.

Corncob Painting (1)

Show your toddler how to roll a cob in one of the colors and then across a piece of sturdy paper. I placed the paper in a craft tray to contain (most of) the mess.

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Note: If you do this project with red, green, and black paint in December, it would also make a lovely Kwanzaa craft given corn’s symbolism during the holiday.

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As a finishing touch, we decided to add dots of glue over the dried corncob painting and pressed on a few of the final loose kernels of corn.

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What fun play we had simply by exploring a piece of seasonal decor!

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