Rock Painting

Rock painting is a fun way to enrich your homeschool curriculum. Check out these art activities and how-to's and turn it into an inspiring homeschooling project.

Rock painting art activities

How to Paint Rocks

As an art activity on its own, rock painting is an inspiring and creative thing to do. 

You need to start by choosing your rock or pebble. Smooth rocks are easier to paint with a design. Or be creative and choose an unusual shape to turn into something else.

Poster paints work fine for younger kids - or use acrylic paints for better results. A good way to start is to paint a base layer in a light color over your stone. This will help your painting to show better against the lighter background.

If you are not very good at painting then check out some drawing tutorials before you start. Stencils help to get a bold shape onto your pebble. Even simple stripes or polka dot designs can look beautiful.

With practice you will be able to create really beautiful artworks.

Rock painting artist Suzi Chua has created several ebooks explaining her techniques and how to get the best results. Here is an example from her book on painting cats.

Rock Painting Tutorial - Let's Get Catty by Suzi Chua+

You can see how she builds up layers of color to add depth to the finished pebbles.

Rock Painting Art - Cats

PS - If you love these check out this talented 15 year old homeschooled girl's painted rocks

Rock Painting Activities -
Homeschooling Curriculum Ideas

You don't have to confine rock painting to a fun art lesson. There are lots of ways you can expand this activity into an amazing educational experience!

Rock Painting Activities for Homeschooling


People have been painting rocks since primitive man. Why not look at examples of primitive cave paintings, aboriginal art, as well as Indian and African rock paintings. Pin a  a large piece of blank wallpaper to a wall and make your own cave paintings.

You could also extend your studies to look at famous rocks such as The Rosetta Stone, the Plymouth Rock and the Black Stone of Kaaba. There is a lovely lesson plan here on how to make your own Rosetta stone from clay. Or try these detailed lesson plans from the BBC website.

Bradshaw Rock Painting

image courtesy TimJN1

Science and Geography

Why not try to identify the type of rocks you have collected? You could look at the geology of your area - and compare it to different parts of the world. You could even get into the economics and environmental issues of mining. Plus, what a great excuse to build a volcano :)

If you would like more resources about geology, then take a look at this free geology page sample from my Gold Rush Ideas Ebook.

There are some great ideas here for teaching young children about rocks. Or check out this lovely imaginary play idea using painted rocks. 


Nature art for kids

Getting out and looking for the perfect pebbles is an ideal opportunity for a nature walk. 

If you need a large rock then lift if carefully to see what is underneath. You are sure to discover all types of bugs and insects. You could paint images of whatever you find onto your pebbles.

You could even release some of your painted rocks back into nature as a surprise piece of nature art for people to discover.

More Homeschooling Ideas

Here are some ideas of things you can do with your rock paintings!

  • Paint your rock to tie in with your current project ie. ladybugs
  • There is a nice idea at to lay out ammonites for your kids to copy onto their stones.
  • Paint several small images and use as story prompts
  • Camping stones. A nice idea I read was to bring back a pebble from each camping trip and write or paint a memory about that trip. Display in a glass jar.
  • Paint the alphabet onto stones for younger children and see what words they can spell with them.
  • Paint gratitude stones for Thanksgiving.
  • Paint with glow in the dark paint and hide around the yard for an evening scavenger hunt.

Homeschooling High School

I think this project is really suited to your high school student because they can get really creative. For example, take a look at this rock painted by a teenager. Even the flag is painted. If you would like to get creative with large rocks, why not try yarn graffiti as a less permanent method of street art.

Or think small! Tiny rocks can be turned into pendants, bracelets or earrings. 

Don't forget to identify the type of rock you have before painting. There is a rock identification table here.

I hope that inspires you to try this fun art project as part of your homeschooling!

› Rock Painting

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