These easy rock painting ideas are perfect for kids because they can all be considered beginner rock painting projects and a great craft for kids of all ages. Painting rocks and decorating rocks is a fun activity and the results are fun to display, give away or hide in a special place for someone to find.
We have joined the painted rock craze because of the fun we have been having fun with the kindness rocks project. It is a fun way to get the kids outdoors and do something nice (and creative).
Easy Painted Rock Ideas for Kids
There are so many different ways to paint rocks, and we’ve found some of the best rock painting ideas! First, we will discuss how to paint rocks when you are just beginning and then inspire you with some of our favorite easy-painted rock projects.
But there are so many more ways for kids (and adults!) to decorate rocks in addition to painting!
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Supplies for Rock Painting
- Smooth rocks (see below for more detail)
- (Optional) mild detergent to clean rocks
- (Optional) paper towels, towels
- (Optional) brush to dust rocks
- Markers, Paint or paint pens, leftover nail polish, Glue or glitter glue, Yarn, Felt, Googly eyes, Melted crayons, Stickers or other embellishments and even Borax solutions
Finding the Perfect Rocks for Painted Rocks
Collecting and painting rocks is a classic activity for kids and one that gets our kids playing outside, enjoying nature, and nurturing creativity.
For best results, smooth, flatter rocks work the best for most painting and decorating projects. Most beginner painting projects use smaller rocks under 4″ in diameter, but that is a personal choice! I personally like the flat rocks the best.
Where we live, there are plenty of rocks along the trails near our home to keep us collecting without disturbing the environment. If you are on a beach, river bed, or protected environmental area, do not take the rocks! It is illegal and can cause erosion. I know it sounds crazy, but you can buy lovely rocks to buy online. Here are a few we like:
- This is a big set of 4 pounds of natural, smooth surface river stones
- 21 Hand-picked rocks and smooth stones perfect for crafts and painting
- White rock set of flat, smooth stones measuring between 2″-3.5″
How do you prepare rocks for rock painting?
You are going to want to brush any dirt or dust off the rock prior to painting. We have found that washing the rocks with a mild detergent not only works really well but is great fun if you fill up the kitchen sink with suds and rocks!
Now that we have talked about rock painting supplies, let’s chat type of paint!
The Best Paint for Rock Painting
You can make almost any type of permanent paintwork, but for beginners, it is best to start with acrylic paint, acrylic paint pens, or permanent markers like Sharpies. This is what we use:
- I have this Acrylic Paint set from Apple Barrel that has 18 different colors in 2 oz. bottles…it has lasted me forever! The paint has a matte finish.
- This set of 24 metallic acrylic paints are really fun and are my next craft paint purchase.
- This set of 24 Sharpie markers have all the colors you likely need and make rock decorating really easy for kids.
We have also used left-over nail polish, melted crayons, and glued embellishments to paint rocks.
Painting Rocks for Beginners
- Collect/buy rocks.
- Clean rocks.
- Let rocks dry.
- (Optional) Paint a base coat of acrylic paint on the rock & let dry.
- Paint desired decoration on rock using paint brush, cotton swabs, foam brush, or stamps & let dry.
- (Optional) On the back of the rock write inspirational messages for someone with a Sharpie pen.
- (Optional) Hide your rocks around your neighborhood.
These rock art ideas will get everyone thinking of new and more unusual ways to create.
Fun Easy Beginner Painted Rocks Projects for Kids
Whether you’re looking to create a series of kindness rocks, treasured kid-made keepsakes, or if you’re in it just for the crafty fun, here are Crazy Fun Rock Decorating Ideas for Kids!
Oh, and I know that we have been talking a lot about how kids will enjoy stone painting and making rock designs, but the whole family will enjoy these fun ideas.
Simple Painted Rock Ideas for Kids
1. Colorful Melted Crayon Rock Craft
Melted Crayon Rocks – We love how simple and colorful this project is. I know we have been talking about painted rocks, but this was the first project I ever did with rock art and they turned out so pretty! The idea of decorative rock is great for smaller and irregular-shaped stones.
2. Cool Rock Monsters Project
Rock Monsters – Kids will have fun creating monsters like these. This is one of the easiest rock projects that even preschool-age kids can get involved in and have some fun. Make a cute rock, a scary rock, or a super fierce rock!
3. Sharpie-Drawn Pebble Arts
Easy Sharpie Rock Art – Use markers to color rocks instead of paint! Again, this is a super easy rock painting project that even young children like toddlers can have a great time with this rock craft with supervision.
4. Lovely Heart Stone Crafts
Heart Stones – Paint encouraging messages onto stones and leave them for others to find. Hopefully, this will give a little inspiration to those you love!
Fun Painted Rock Ideas
5. Scary Rock Shark Painting
6. Cute Rock-Painted People
Painted Rock People by Non Toy Gifts – The kids made one of these for each member of the family for Christmas one year. I think every year we need to make a new stone family!
7. Creative Zentangle Rock Paintings
Zentangle Rocks by KC Edventures – Creating zentangles is so relaxing! I know this painted rock project might look too hard for a beginner or kid, but KC Edventures has a full tutorial showing her kids painting and it is really doable! Check out her full instructions.
8. Adorable Stone Bug Village Project
Bug Village by Crafts by Amanda – This bug village is seriously adorable.
9. Creative Chalk-Drawn Face Rocks
Rock Chalk Faces by Club Chica Circle – These made our neighbors laugh when they saw them! Just be careful not to leave the rocks in the middle of the sidewalk! Click through to Club Chica Circle to see all the different variations they made. They are all so cute and a great way to use painted rocks for different use.
10. Colorfully Painted Stone Fish Crafts
Painted Stone Fish Craft by Messy Little Monster – We painted rocks from our vacation into these. Check out Messy Little Monster’s tutorial because she had her preschoolers painting these and they turned out adorably!
More Rock Painting Ideas
Are you inspired yet by all these painted rock ideas for kids? Keep scrolling for even more easy painting ideas for beginners…
11. Amazing Solar System Pebbles Project
12. Pebbles Covered with Melted Crayons Craft
Melted Crayon Rocks by Red Ted Art – This is a great way to “recycle” old crayon pieces!
13. Beautiful Crystal-COvered Rocks Project
Crystalized Rocks by Happy Hooligans – This is one of the coolest techniques for painting and decorating rocks. Click over to the site to get the full tutorial…you have to try this with your kids!
14. Cute Pet Pebbles Craft
Fluffy Pet Rocks by the Craft Train – My daughter’s teacher had the kids create pet rocks like this for a lesson and the kids loved them!
15. Shining Shimmering Painted Rocks Craft
Sparkly Painted Rocks by Craftulate – Sparkles make any craft project better!
Unique and Clever Painted Rocks Ideas
Let’s move beyond painting rocks into some other inspiration that kids will embrace for their stone decorations…
16. Clever Sight Word Activity with Pebbles
Sight Word Pebbles by the Imagination Tree – Practicing sight words was never so much fun. I can’t get over how smart this use of rocks is for kids!
17. Crafty Rocks with Stickers
Sticker Rocks by Fireflies and Mud Pies – Don’t want to break out the paint? Try these instead! Even your youngest crafter can make these decorated rocks.
18. Colorful Dyed Stones for Kids
Dye Decorated Rocks by Twitchetts – These are really subtle but so pretty! It is a really cool rock painting technique using dyes instead.
19. Painted Rocks with Lovely Patterns
Magic Dragon Painted Rocks by Color Made Happy – Make some of the most exciting play accessories with these rocks! You have to see her castle made out of an Oatmeal container too…
20. Simple Hand-Painted Gratitude Stones
Gratitude Stones by Fireflies and Mudpies – These are simple but so beautiful!
21. Cute Rainbow-Painted Rock Craft
This rainbow-painted rock is awesome and so simple. Grab your favorite rainbow paint colors to follow this fun.
22. Rocks Painted with Different Patterns for Kids
Love these simple rock painting patterns for kids. Paint a simple flower using ovals and a circle. Paint what looks like the underside of a parachute with triangles of various colors or make a stripe and polka dot painted stone!
23. School of Fish Painted Rocks Project
What a fun idea! Paint each rock as a colorful fish and then group them together to make a school of painted rock fish!
24. Lovely Lovebirds Rock Craft
Grab your blue and yellow paint and two stones to create a pair of painted rock lovebirds.
25. Simple Ladybug Stone Project
Grab red and black paint to make this sweet painted ladybug stone!
26. Cool Cactus Rock Crafts
Making rocks that are painted to look like cactus is a really cute idea and would make a great gift when placed in a painted flower pot.
27. Simple-Patterned Colored Pebble Project
You could take this idea and run with it. Start with single-color painted rocks and then use those colors to arrange the rocks into a design like this heart.
28. Rocks Painted with Inspiring Words Activity
Paint inspiring words on rocks and then hide them around the world to make someone who finds them smile. I love this painting idea so much!
my Favorite Rock Painting Ideas
My very favorite rock painting idea is to let kids creativity go wild with markers, paint and googly eyes to make rock monsters. We have a version of this rock painting idea listed as #2 in this list and you can imagine that the finished rock monster projects possibilities are endless. Add some glue, yarn and glitter for even more fun!
More Ideas for Kids from Kids Activities Blog
- Now that you are done decorating, here are some things to do with rocks like games and activities for kids.
- Kids will love to make rock chalk with this simple tutorial.
- Check out this painted rock walkway idea that one teacher created!
- Your kids will love to learn how to make moon rocks! They are such sparkly rocks.
- These cookies look like garden stones and are yummy! Make stone cookies for the entire family.
- We have some more easy rock art ideas that will give you even more inspiration…
- Kid science experiments
- Funny pranks the kids will love
Which rock art project is your favorite to make with your kids?