As the leaves fall and the change of seasons, I am reminded of all the garden preparations that need to take place before winter arrives. Alongside of me, I observe many animals doing the same. I am always amazed how these little animals instinctually know the harsh weather is right around the corner and hae already begun squirling around collecting nuts and berries. Time to prepare for the long winter rest. Taking my cue from nature, I have found myself harvesting rocks, stones and pebbles and thinking of all the winter activities I can do with them.
I imagine sitting by the fire and painting rocks. Here are a few ideas I am planning on working on. I can’t wait to start playing with my harvested rocks, stones and pebbles.
1. Rock Word Garden: Paint letters, words and pictures on rocks
2. You are Here Sign In: Decoupage pictures of children and use Sharpee to write names
3. Spiral Herb Garden: How to Build a Spiral Herb Garden
Do you have an idea for using your found rocks, pebbles and stones? What loose parts can you begin to harvest this Fall? Share your comments below.
I went to a rock workshop called, “Stone-works.” It was an amazing use of stones and rocks. Using a large variety of stones and rocks to design and create in many ways as well as using them to tell a story or express feelings. I tried it in my classroom and some children really get into making designs and patterns.
Love this! I will have to check it out.
I have an idea of creating wreaths with my students using found objects like leaves, sticks, and pebbles. I think it would be great for each student to create a small one and then hang them up throughout the school. Each would be unique and add some beautiful fall colors to the inside.
I also like the idea of using larger rocks for some type of outdoor art project. Perhaps painting them bright colors or fun patterns to add to the playground. I’m also toying with the idea of having the students walk around our outdoor space and observe the different things that are going on and then using sharpie draw what they see on the larger rocks such as a tree shedding it’s leaves or animals preparing for winter.
Your mention of creating a rock word garden also makes me think of making a rock scrabble game. The students can paint the letters on the rocks and then these can be used to create words. My kindergarteners who are just beginning to read and spell would be especially intrigued by this as they are always trying to sound out words.
If you ever get a chance to take pictures of any of these projects….please send them along….I would love to see them. Fantastic things happening! Keep up the grea work!
good morning! I was pleased to see the post on rocks and loose parts. I have started collecting leaves with my group, for collages, mobiles,sun catchers, classifying and land art. We are going to use Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert next week. I have been trying to find a way to get enough outdoor time in a schedule that must fit around an infant nap schedule and picking up a student after school. I realized I can turn our walk to school into a nature walk, as we have a stretch with a variety of trees and some open space. We will be birdwatching, cloud watching and bug and worm watching to start with. It is a promising start. We are building a bug hotel next week for our garden space. All so much fun…Jeanne
You’ve got the buzz! I have been raking lot’s and lot’s of leaves and keep thinking I should take break and make a leaf collage or pause and create art with loose parts! Great book. I will add it to the Outdoor Classrooms book store! Let me know how your bug hotel goes! All the little additions make a huge difference. Thanks for creating such wonderful outdoor experiences for children. 🙂