Friday, February 3, 2012

Art And Play: The Nature Way - Rocks

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 Play:

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. 

Want to see a fabulous artistic way to use rocks? Visit Dilly Dali Art to see what they've made!

Art And Play: The Nature Way

Do your children collect rocks? What do you do with their collection?


  1. Awesome! We just put together a pet rock kit for a friends birthday! I love the playground!

  2. This is so cute! I want to bring our rocks "Rocky" and "Ruffy" over to play with your rocks! I love that little playground idea, your rocks genuinely look like they're having fun!!

  3. How fun! Your teeter totter looks so sophisticated next to mine (really appreciate your linking over!)

    Can't wait to add this to my pretend play pinterest board - with rocks, the possibilities for creative play are endless!

  4. One of my most favorite posts I have seen in awhile!!! And I've seen a lot of great posts. ;) We like to play park with stuffed animals, but I love a pet rock playground. Awesome!!!

  5. Darn it, I wanted to pin this but images aren't showing up.

  6. Love it!
    Beuatiful combination ladies :)

  7. HA!! You don't know how much I love this! My little boy would LOVE something like this. So flippin creative!

  8. This is fabulous! What a great idea!

    Also I wanted to say thanks for calling by at my blog and I do hope you'll come back and add your spring links to the spring blog carnival coming soon. I also wondered if you'd like to co-host the carnival here. Let me know if you're interested. :)

  9. You're child is so lucky to have two parents committed to his imagination! That whole play scene just screams love, love, love.

  10. Joyce, this is just the cutest thing! I love that he took it all so seriously and wants take his pet everywhere with him, too! My girls love collecting rocks and fill their pockets any time they're out (I'm forever finding them in the washing machine, though! :-S ), I bet they'd love this!

  11. Oh my gosh Joyce this is so awesome!!! I love it so much! Pinning this and doing it...well, once the snow melts again and we can find some rocks!

  12. Very creative and lovely relaxing colours!

  13. Katie- Did you blog about your pet rock kit? I've been away.. I need to check your blog! If you havent.. you should!

    You should totally drive here and bring Rocky and Ruffy to play. I hear it's the best rock playground in the US.. so it would be worth the drive, Aleacia!

    Your teeter totter was definitely the inspiration, maryanne! I just needed something a bit sturdier to hold of for rocks. :)

    Thanks you, Rebekah! I'm so glad you liked it. Boo it wouldn't let you pin it! I wonder why it does that sometimes? Thanks for trying though!

    Thank you, Angelique :)

    Thank you, Jessie! I hope he loves it if you make one! I'm so glad you stopped by!

    Thank you, Kim. As we were making it late one night.. I looked at my husband and told him thank you for being insane enough to stay up and party with our glue guns. Lol. I'm pretty lucky :)

    I hope your girls like it, Mama Pea Pod! We always have a TON of rocks too. I'm pretty sure we'll have a whole village of rock people soon.

    I hope you'll share pictures of your playground, The Iowa Farmer's Wife! Snow sounds fun for now! We haven't seen snow that would actually stick to the ground yet this year.

    I was worried about it being so bland looking, mermaid! So thank you! I figured we'd let him decorate it himself when he asks. Or maybe on a rainy day when it's starting to lose it's appeal.

    Thank you, Terri!

    And thank you, sunnymama for stopping by and for the offer! I'll message you soon :)

  14. Great idea! My daughter has been wanting to make some fairy houses for our lanai, but rocks might be easier to house!


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