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Simple Rock Mosaic Using Clay


For my sons, like many children, creating a piece of artwork is much more about the process than about the end product. If I can hold myself back, watching the process, watching an activity unfold in my sons’ world is extraordinary.


The Hook

As you know we’re embarking on a rock & mineral learning adventure. First, you have to hook the children. The idea is that you want them to want to learn more.

So, we borrowed several children’s books about rocks, brainstormed a list of fun rock activities to do with children, and went on a short hike to a nearby stream to gather rocks of all shapes and sizes.


To get you started check out these posts on rock activities:


The Goods

Base: We used a tray but you can use a variety of bases including a pie plate, the bottom of a terra cotta pot, or nothing at all.

Material: You can use a variety of materials including play dough (homemade or store-bought), clay, and salt dough. We used up old store-bought colorful clay we had sitting around our art supply cabinet.

I put the bucket out in the sun to get the material nice and soft to work into the tray. Working clay is great for fine motor development and pre-writing. While we worked on the clay, we talked about how clay comes from the earth.

Objects: We used rocks we had collected the day before, handmade gems, and pea gravel from our garden walkway.

“Think left and think right, think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.’   

Dr. Seuss

The Process

I set out the activity and called my son over to me. I began working the clay and asked him to fetch rocks. He was excited to push the rocks into the clay. He was excited to handle the clay. The sun had made it soft and lovely, even gooey in some spots.


I began to create designs in clay with the rocks.


My son began creating a town. I let his imagination go with the rocks and with the digging. Soon, we had an ocean, land, forts, and rivers. Soon, we were living in an exciting imaginary world.

It was pretty awesome.  I think we’ll do it again tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,


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