activity rock creatures pets

Rock Critters

This rock hunt leads to your own kooky treasures. Dreaming up pebbly pets with your preschooler reveals their divergent thinking and small motor skills too.


Things can get messy during your exploration and the activity too. Cover yourself, your child and be prepared for cleaning up dirt and art materials.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Bag, to hold the rocks your child finds. We like to keep foldable, washable, rip-stop cloth bags like these on Amazon on hand. You never know when a good rock will present itself!
  2. Liquid tempera paint, from jars like these or tubes found here work best for this activity.
  3. Small container(s) for paint. We like to use small, 8 ounce plastic containers with lids like these. But a recycled yogurt container or jar works just as well.
  4. Paint brush - Check our Materials page for size appropriate for your child’s age.
  5. Elmer’s white glue or Aleenes glue found here for quick drying.
  6. Optional - Thin non-toxic, washable markers. Markers can do in a pinch if you don’t have paint on hand or if you’re on the go.
  7. Optional - Fun extras such as scraps of craft felt like this, wiggle eyes, colorful beads, turkey feathers
  1. Skilly Spark #1: Take your bag and go on a rock hunt with your child in your neighborhood or a nearby park. Take a moment to chat about why they have chosen this or that rock as you gather.
  2. Skilly Spark #2: When you get home, spend some time studying each rock to discover its creative potential. What does the shape remind you of? What could this rock be?
  3. Thoroughly wash and dry the rocks.
  4. Use paint to make designs or even faces on the rocks.  
  5. For more fun, glue on felt features like noses or ears, wiggle eyes, feathers or anything else that appeals to your child’s eye.


Keep the fun going
  • Rock critters make great gifts and are the perfect size for stocking stuffers.
  • Simply glue felt to the bottom of the rock and voila! A fantastic paperweight.
  • Ask your critter to join in your pretend play with dollhouses or blocks.