Dirt, sticks, and rocks will win a toddler’s attention anytime compared to boxed toys. The best thing about these things is that they are free and available in your nearest outdoor space. Of course, kids enjoy playing with rocks, but what games can you play together to encourage their imagination and make it a fun experience?
The best games to play with rocks include storytelling, rock jumping, creating a rock maze, rock hunting, and rock painting. These games are engaging, fun, and perfect for overall development.
Here is a list of games you can play with rocks at school or home.
1. Storytelling with Rocks
This game boosts imagination and encourages creative thinking in children. You will need the following items to get started;
The first step is picking up rocks of any size or shape and then painting them in different colors. This activity might take time, but it is part of the story. A stone can be a character or an object like a house or animal.
For example, one rock can be a princess and another a castle where the princess lives. You can even paint an outfit on the rocks and give them names to bring the characters to life.
This game is fun for your child to enjoy with or without friends. This game can also go on for hours, depending on how many rocks you picked up. The story will continue developing if you add new stones to the game.
2. Rock Jumping
Rock jumping is a fun game that will make your kids physically active and improve coordination. All you need for this game is rocks, lots of them. Next, arrange the rocks in various shapes, spacing them according to the size of your child’s step. Finally, your kids will jump from one rock to another without falling off.
You can turn this into an educational activity by painting numbers, colors, or letters on the rocks. The kids will then shout the color, letter, or number on every rock they jump to during the game. In fact, this game fits perfectly with our list of fun hiking games for kids.
3. Go Digging for Dinosaur Eggs
This game might take a while to set up, but your little archaeologists will enjoy it. Here’s what you need for the game;
- Painted rocks
- Plastic tray
- Dinosaur toys or figures
- Sticks, leaves, and other play items
- Plastic spoon
- Fish/aquarium net
You must create a dinosaur world before you can search for eggs. The first step is to fill the plastic tray with sand. Then take your painted rocks and bury them in the sand. Finish by decorating the dinosaur world with dinosaur figures, leaves, sticks, and toys that add to the game.
Your toddler will need a plastic spoon to scoop out the sand while searching for the eggs. They will use the aquarium net to store the sand scooped out during the extraordinary search for dinosaur eggs. It is a fun game your kids can enjoy at home, especially when they have company and are in a bigger dinosaur world.
It also encourages imagination as kids can add creative elements like insects, animals, and plants.
4. Create a Rock Maze
Rock mazes are fun for toddlers because they enjoy running around while trying to find an exit. According to the Knowledge Hub, mazes improve a child’s visual skills, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and overall confidence.
Like rock jumping, all you need for this game is a lot of rocks. You can create a maze of any shape and size, but remember that the bigger the maze, the more fun the game. Kids get creative with this game by trying to go through the maze with their eyes closed.
5. Race for the Rock
Are you familiar with the game “Steal the bacon”, where different teams make a run to get the flag first? This game has a similar concept, but the ‘bacon’ is the rock. Race for the rock is a big hit during playdates, or if you have multiple kids, they can face off during the game. This game requires minimal parental involvement and is tiring for the kids making it an excellent option for a restful afternoon.
6. Rock Hunting
Rock hunting is similar to treasure hunting, but the treasure is a marked or colored rock. Hide the colored or marked rock in your backyard and let the kids start the hunt. This game can also have clues to make it more exciting and challenging for the kids.
If your family enjoys hiking, rock hunting is an excellent way to keep them motivated on the hike. Hide marked rocks along the trail; the kids will search each designated area until the hike is complete.
7. Collect Rocks and Return them to their Original Spot
Believe it or not, toddlers enjoy carrying rocks back and forth. This game makes it more challenging because they must remember where they got the rock. This is a fun activity when taking an afternoon stroll with the kids.
You can also collect rocks, put them in a bucket, and have the kids arrange them in a pile in the backyard. Again, kids are very creative and might make a secret game out of it.
8. Make a Rock Tower
Does your child enjoy stacking things? If yes, why not try a new game of stacking rocks or making a rock tower? This game is suitable for kids because it encourages logical and critical thinking. Rocks come in different shapes and sizes, and the kids must figure out how to balance them.
It is more fun when the kids compete on who can make the tallest tower and whose tower will balance the longest. The best part of the game is knocking down the tower, after the winner receives a privilege. Making rock towers is also a fun game at the beach to see which tower gets knocked over by the tide first.
9. Make Some Rock Soup
This fun pretend play game keeps your toddlers busy for a while. Stones are a vital ingredient in stone soup, but they can also use dirt, leaves, and sticks. Give your kids a big container and allow them to use anything they find in the backyard as ingredients.
This game can be messy and might require adult supervision so your toddler does not eat the ingredients. Even better, you can create a fun backstory for why the kids need to make stone soup. For example, the baby giants need to drink stone soup to grow into big giants and protect the village.
10. Rock Painting
Rock painting is a fun and creative activity for kids of all ages. Furthermore, it is not about painting solid colors on rocks. Instead, kids can get creative with it and paint things like fruits, insects, and animals, among other things. But remember, this activity works ideally outdoors to make cleaning up easier.
Here is what you will need;
Set up the painting paper in an inclined position from the edge of the table to the ground. You can hold it down using large rocks on either side. Next, place the cardboard under the paper on the ground.
Take the rocks and paint them. Let each rock slide down the paper from top to bottom, making a colored pattern. The rocks will fall on the cardboard to avoid messing up the floor. Keep painting the rocks in different colors and repeat the process. The result is an artwork masterpiece you can frame and put in your kids’ play area.
These games are easy to implement and fun. Thanks to their versatility, the kids will enjoy playing these games at home, on the beach, or a hike. This article offers effective recommendations if you’re interested in additional kids’ educational activities.