I am so excited to bring you the very first post of a brand new series! Dilly Dali Art and I are working together on this new series, Art And Play: The Nature Way. Every two weeks we will pick a new item found in nature and incorporate it into art and play. Dilly Dali Art is bringing the art, and I'll be bringing the play! We chose rocks for our first theme.
I've posted about our love of rocks and the many things you can learn while playing with them, but did you know that they can be great companions and wonderful for pretend play? It's true!
The fun began on our trip to find the perfect rock. R was really excited about the idea of having a pet rock and took the hunt seriously. We searched and searched. We really enjoyed our time spent outside and came home with our pockets full of rocks. It was hard to decide!
To make our pet rocks, we simply glued googly eyes onto a couple of extra special rocks and let R draw the details. He insisted that one look like daddy, complete with a beard.
Meet Rocky and Lovey. Our newest additions. Rocky is the dashing young man with the beard, and Lovey is the lovely lady joining him on the seesaw.
And this is their playground.
After R created his new little friends, his daddy and I wanted to give him a small world setup to play in. We've had so much bad weather lately, that we thought it would be cute to create a playground so that R could live vicariously through his pet rocks on stormy days. It was a HUGE hit.
We didn't have to buy a single thing for this small world play. Everything we used we already had on hand. The playground "mulch" is dried pinto beans left over from various other bins we've had. We used jumbo and regular sized craft sticks and hot glue to build the clubhouse slide, attached swing set, and monkey bars. The sand box is a little plastic container of sand, with craft sticks glued to the top to finish it off. And the seesaw is part of a paint stick hot glued to a pvc pipe fitting. Our seesaw is inspired by this teeter totter from Mama Smiles, and I'm quite certain you would have everything you need to make hers!
R loves his new friends and is already talking about making more so that there are a lot of friends on the playground. He moves his little rocks all around the playground, helps them down the slide, and pushes them on the swing. He added a lot of little details to the playground as he played and is definitely making it a nice place for his new little companions. I honestly can't see this getting old any time soon. He even wants to bring Rocky everywhere we go.
I can tell that we'll be playing with rocks for a long time to come. I'm sure we'll eventually add on to "Rock World" as R affectionately calls it.
I'd also like to tell you that you don't have to be great with glue sticks to have a playground for your own pet rocks. (But I'd like to say that hot glue is VERY forgiving and easy!) You can easily make one out of other household items, craft supplies and toys. Try out the teeter totter from Mama Smiles. And you can build a slide out of blocks, a paper towel roll, cardboard and tape. Use what you have! Your child and their rocks will love it.
Do your children collect rocks? What do you do with their collection?