I know, I know, a preschool rocks theme can bring visions of rocks being thrown and boo-boos. Let's teach our kids to be more curious--beyond the throwing! Let's investigate them!
Let the Preschool Rocks Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Another theme you may want to combine with this theme:
Preschool Rocks Theme Art
Materials Needed: With the children (or in advance), collect rocks (not pebbles, but ones large enough to paint designs on!).
The children paint on the rocks with tempera paint. Using glue, add on googly eyes, yarn "hair" or other items!
Make A Rock
Materials needed: pebbles, paper cups, glue (preferably clear glue!).
The children pour glue into their cups.
They add rocks as they want. Make sure they are covered by the glue, so pushed in well!
When dry, peel off cup and check out your rock!
You may need to let the glue rock dry additionally after removing the cup.
Painting With Rocks
I saw this online a few years ago, but can not remember where. I've never done this, but it seemed like such a cool idea!
Materials Needed: large poster board, white paper (large), different sizes of rocks, variety of tempera paint colors
Place the poster board on an incline (perhaps leaning against a chair or table). Place large white paper under the poster board.
The children dip rocks into paint and then hold the rock at the top of the poster board and let it roll down the board.
More Painting With Rocks
Use rocks as you would for marble painting!
Place paper in a shallow box cover or tray.
Plop on a few colors of watered down paint.
Add a few rocks.
Shake the box left to right and and in circles.
This is a two part project!
MAKE THE STONES
Materials needed: white glue, flour, sand, water, cake/pie pans
Make enough for all the kids. The proportions are: 1 part glue and 2 parts flour, 2 parts sand, 2 parts water
Spray the pans with Pam or other cooking spray.
Fill with the dough and let dry (takes about 3 days or so).
PAINT THE STONES
The children then paint as they like.
When dry, make an obstacle course with them to follow!
Preschool Rocks Theme Block Center Ideas
Add a bucket of rocks and stones for the children to build with. They can make roads, walls, animal pens...they have a lot of ideas!
Preschool Rocks Theme Circle Time Ideas
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
Bring a wide variety of rocks to circle..large, small, colored, geodes, etc. Discuss rocks and write down their description.
Then make a group rock! In advance, have all the materials to make plaster of paris in a shallow round bin.
Have the children each choose one rock from the collection after your discussion.
Mix the ingredients as directed on the package of plaster of paris.
Each child presses their rock into the mixture.
Cooperative Rock Family Story
Bring a collection of rocks to circle time and some fine point markers (sharpies work well).
Each child chooses a rock and draws a face.
Now, begin a cooperative story where each child adds a sentence to the story about THEIR rock. They then place the rock in the middle of circle time.
Cheryl: Once upon a time there was a Mommy rock.
Child 1: Mommy had to take care of the baby (child places her baby rock near the "Mommy" rock and perhaps names it).
Child 2: The Daddy rock died and the Mommy was sad (this actually happened in my class. The child's Dad had passed away the previous year).
Continue on, helping the children to determine their rock's role in the story.
Be sure to have someone write down what each child says and print their name next to the sentence.
Ongoing pictures would be great, too!
When done, read the story back to the children.
EXTENSION: Make a class book out of the story!
The Magic Rock
Remember the song "The magic ball, goes round and round, so catch it quickly..."
Play this game while passing a rock. The person who is holding the rock at the end is not out (preschoolers are too young for this type of "competition"), but needs to say one thing about the rock such as the color, size, weight, etc.
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Theme!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Stone Soup! Of course!
Materials needed: The book Stone Soup by Marcia Brown or another version; a cooking pot and vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, onions); a potato peeler, knife, vegetable soup mix or stock, a medium sized smooth stone (be sure to clean and boil the stone prior to this activity).
Read the story to the children.
Make stone soup with them! They help you peel, cut and place the vegetables into the pot and then add the stone and water.
Bring to a boil and let boil 40 minutes or until vegetables are cooked, add the stone and vegetable stock. Cook a few more minutes.
Preschool Rocks Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area
Provide tables, trays, cash register, bags and other items.
Children place rocks throughout this area by sorting into types, sizes, colors, etc.
They can take children on a "tour" of the museum!
They can make and sell tickets to the museum!
They can sell rocks to the museum patrons as well!
Preschool Rocks Theme Ideas for your Easel--
More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Apparently, there are crayon rocks on the market (Amazon and other places). You can purchase them OR make your own!
Place pieces of same colored crayons in muffin tins.
Bake for a few minutes at 250 degrees until melted.
Let cool and remove.
Break into different sizes!
Preschool Rocks Theme Large Group Games
that help build their muscles while they have fun together
I know, I know! But set the rules! They are ONLY to throw into the bins and of course, this must be supervised so children don't walk in front of the "tossers"!
Provide bins, laundry baskets, boxes, etc. for the children to toss the rocks into.
I saw someone once cover the rocks with the toes of socks! Pretty cool!
Okay, not really a race in preschool, but a great balance activity!
Provide medium sized rocks that will fit into a large cooking spoon or ladle; ladles and spoons and 2 pots.
The children, 2 or 3 at a time, lift a rock out of the pot using only the spoon/ladle.
They then carry the rock from one side of the room to the other and empty into a pot.
They return to their friends and pass the spoon/ladle to a child who has not had a turn yet.
Draw a hopscotch and use rocks!
Preschool Rocks Theme Book Suggestions for the Library
Everybody Needs A Rock by Byrd Baylor
If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian
It's Mine! by Leo Lionni
Milo and the Magical Stones by Marcus Pfister
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran (This is one of my favorites! All pictures, no story...the children make it up!)
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown (or another version!)
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Preschool Rocks Theme Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!
Although this could also be an art activity, this project allows for time to sort, classify, create patterns, compare (size, weight, etc.), so it has been placed under math/manipulatives as an activity.
Materials needed: wide variety of rocks (different shapes, colors, sizes, etc.); cardboard or tagboard, glue
The children glue the rocks to the tagboard/cardboard to create sculptures.
Materials needed: 5 or ten smooth stones, stickers (of the same picture)
Place a sticker on one side of each stone. Use the same stickers (dinosaurs, a shape, etc.)
Place the stones in a bowl.
The child shakes the bowl to mix the stones around (shake it up and down) and when done, they count how many "dinosaur" or "shape" rocks are facing up.
Preschool Rocks Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas
to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
Let's Rock 'N Roll!
Provide medium sized rocks (enough so that each child can have 2).
Sitting down, encourage the children to copy sound patterns:
Tap your rocks 2 times. Now tap 2 times, pause, 1 time.
Give them time to exchange one of their rocks for another. Do they sound the same when these two are tapped together?
Preschool Rocks Theme Activities for the Senses!
Add pea gravel to your sand table. Add sticks, sifters, cups, small toy cars, dump trucks, etc. Children can "draw" roads or other designs on the gravel.
Add a few colored rocks to the pea gravel above for a rock hunt!
Add rocks, aquarium gravel and pea gravel for your children to use this week.
Preschool Rocks Theme Science Activities--
for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
Materials needed: Go for a walk with the children and collect rocks of different shapes, sizes and colors or bring a collection to school yourself.
Provide nails (supervised! to scrape the rocks with to see what they are made of); magnifying glasses, cups to wash the rocks, etc.
Provide several smooth stones/rocks (clean them first).
Provide different items for the children to grind such as:
Mustard seeds, coriander seeds, sinnamon sticks, pepper corns, berries, etc.
Show them how to grind them by rubbing the rocks or tapping the rocks on the items.
Do this either on a large tray, cutting board or a really large, flat rock if you can find one!
This is how many foods were (and still are) ground down to eat!!
What is it made of?
Materials needed: Safety glasses, small hammers, meat tenderizers, cloth, rocks, magnifying glasses
Obviously, this is a highly supervised activity!
The children cover the rocks with cloth (to avoid rocks flying at others!) and hit with the tools.
When done, check out the insides with magnifying glasses!
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Rocks Theme!
In advance, paint letters on similar sized rocks. Have extra letters for those used a lot (Like "A", "L", etc.)
The children spell out their names or other words!