An easy way to create empathy through play and have fun!
Here's what you need to DIY:
rocks (collect them near water or buy them from a craft store)
oil pastels (I got the kind for little hands that don't roll off the table)
a towel to keep the table clean from little pieces of oil pastel
a small amount of biodegradable glitter (optional)
a black permanent marker if you want to include a message on your rock
work on a non-carpeted area!
You can clean the rocks if needed with soap, water, and an old toothbrush. Let them dry.
Use the oil pastels to decorate the rocks. Press hard to cover the surface. It's much neater than paint! It's also very forgiving because of the ability to blend and overlap the colors. The harder you press and the more time you spend filling in the empty spots, the better your rock turns out! It's also great for your finger muscles.
You can use the brush or your finger to blend the oil pastels and to swipe off the stray pieces of color as you go.
Use clear glue and a brush to seal your work. Let it dry on top of a domino, another rock or a plastic egg carton turned upside down. Several coats of glue make the rocks shiny and durable.
Try making a rainbow on your rock and/or blending the colors. Every rock is unique and has great potential, just like you!
Distributing rocks is a great way to promote play, empathy and caring.
My non-profit organization offers kits to make it easy to get started that are perfect for gifts or travel.
If you want to learn more about how early childhood rocks gives back, click here!
Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, parent, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI