There are other things that can be done with rocks that will last longer than the few seconds it takes for a rock to skip on the water. They will keep the children busy and give some lasting and cherished results. Most take little effort and a minimum of expense.
It has been my experience that children love rocks. If we went on vacation when my children were small their most prized souvenirs were rocks they had picked up along the way. I can remember my father-in-law being completely baffled when my son actually paid for a rock at a souvenir stand. After all you can pick a rock up off the ground anywhere.
So encourage the little ones to collect stones when they are out and about. Sometimes a rock will seem to call you. It wants to be yours. As long as you aren't raiding something that belongs to someone else it may long for a good home. Always wash them with soap and water to make sure they are not hiding anything harmful.
Another thing to keep in mind is that crafts are messy. The children should not be inhibited by trying to be neat. Make sure the work area is protected.
How many of you remember pet rocks? They were a huge "thing" when my children were younger. They are so easy to make and imagination is the only limitation.
To make pet rocks you will need rocks, paint or crayons, and any other bits and pieces you may have left from other projects. These might include yarn, small buttons, etc. Craft glue will be necessary if you use any of these items.
Pick up your stone and study it for a moment. Try to decide what type of pet it might be. It could be a person, animal, or even a plant. Then use the materials you have to enhance the features you recognized. Perhaps the color will help identify it as a lion. Maybe a bit of yarn will make hair for a lovely lady. Create every feature until you have your pet rock.
Those who remember pet rocks will also remember that whole families and villages of pet rocks were made by enthusiasts. That meant they needed places to live and work. You might begin a passion if you are not careful.
Paperweights are easy to make and make wonderful personal gifts. There are several different ways to make them so different days can be used for different types of paperweights. Of course each begins with a solid weighty rock.
You could cut a small picture from a magazine or catalog. Then paste it to the rock with glue that has been watered down to make the paper more pliable. A small paint brush works well for smoothing the picture onto the rock.
Painting designs or pictures encourage creativity. After the paint has dried a simple coating of water with a bit of flour in it will give a glossy finish.
This one is a lot of fun. It will require a lot of supervision and care. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rocks on the cookie sheet and let them heat in the oven for about 15 minutes. While they are heating the children can unwrap crayons of whatever color or colors they want to use.
When the rocks come out of the oven they will be very hot. Make sure the work area is heat resistant and especially make sure the children use pot holders or something similar to handle the rocks.
Set the rocks on the heat resistant work area. Sometimes they can be a little too hot right away so a testing might be wise. Touch a crayon to the hot rock. If it melts to a watery consistency wait a minute.
All you need to do to make your artwork is touch the crayon bits to the hot rock. They will melt. Many colors or one color can be used. The longer you hold the crayon to the rock the larger the swirl of color will be. You can also shred crayons onto the rock.
You can use these colorful rocks as a paperweights. Another way to display them is in a candy dish to add a bit of color to your decor.
Nice flat rocks are easy to stack. Take about 6 of them (more or less) and glue them one on top of the other. Add gloss if you like. You will have a small stack of rocks that make a good paperweight. It can be an interesting decoration on a bookshelf too.
Rocks make beautiful jewelry. To make a necklace you will need an interesting rock. It does not even need to be a shiny rock. One yard of hemp is fastened to the rock by using a glue gun. Then wrap the hemp around the rock a few times. Tie the ends of the hemp together and you have a necklace.
Magic stones or lucky stones are easy to make. Spread a little glue on the rock and sprinkle glitter on it. After the glue dries you can glue on other small colorful stones or paint a lucky word or something inspirational. Keep it with you at all times.
Speaking of lucky stones it is nice to have one with you. A fairly flat smooth stone works best. You must touch it often to make a bond between you and the stone. Keep it in your pocket and rub it often to ensure good luck at all times.
Working with rocks is limited only by imagination. They can be used to make almost anything if you put your mind to it and use a bit of ingenuity. If you have any crafts you can make with rocks I would like to hear about them. I do like to keep the little ones busy.