Nature Play Ideas : Rocks Puzzles

nature play for kids with rocks
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Nature play ideas with rocks

With fall in the air, how can you not engage in some nature play and nature activities? Today we share an easy rock puzzle activity, especially designed for my toddler. However my 5 year old insisted that she be a part of the project so I advanced the same nature activity to her level. It is always a great idea to tweak any kids activity so that it works for multiple age groups. To be honest, you don’t even have to tweak. Just lay the same materials differing only in the quantities made available you will see the kids’ different take on the same activities.

Materials

  • Rocks
  • Leaves
  • Drift wood ( in interesting shapes)
  • Wood Blocks
  • Permanent Markers

Since we often collect rocks I always have a big stash of them sitting in my backyard. My kids love to create patterns and designs with them. Recently I found them totally adoring drawing on them and making figures. I found my 5 year doing this one day and a light bulb went off.

rock person

A couple of days later I set out this invitation for my toddler.

toddler invitation for nature play

I drew ears, eyes, nose and mouth on a few rocks and set them out. I picked out a few cool looking driftwood and drew hands and legs on them. I gathered a few leaves from our fig tree and set them out in a basket on our outdoor table. ( FYI : the leaf was totally my 5 year old’s idea) My eager toddler came around and ” Hey mom, is this for me” While it was her sister who helped me with this invitation she was totally bummed that I did not make any special “invitation” for her.

My preschooler’s invitation to play, create and solve.  The same eyes, nose, ears and mouth except I did 4 sets on rocks of different sizes. Just to help her learn proportions. We have done an earlier proportions activity with Christmas tree.

invitation to solve a rock puzzle nature play

 My toddler first checked out all the pieces by observing and feeling them. The she labelled each of them and started putting them together on the leaf face” 

creating faces

Our solved nature play puzzle.

toddlers nature play art

We obviously did not stop with just one. My almost 3 year old proceeded to do solve all the 4 faces. She did not focus on the proportions of the facial features. Her intention was to get the features in the right order.

leaf faces

nature art

Creating the entire human body activity was initially created specifically for my toddler. Both the kids after creating the face used the driftwood I had set out to create the entire body. We were very thrilled to find a piece that so much resembled a skirt!

making faces from nature

Please pay attention to this picture. My 5 year old wants everyone to know that the “rock shoes” were her idea. To her credit, this entire nature play activity was her idea.

nature crafts ideas

Both my kids kept redoing different humans using the same driftwood but differing the facial features.

rock humans for nature play

It was a great exercise for my toddler. I think kids all ages would adore this rock puzzles activity. The rocks ended up being a canvas for drawing and they used them to write and doodle as well. I have since seen them create caves and houses with them. So much story telling was going on. I left the set up for a few days I even saw them create patterns and designs with the smaller rocks.

Yeah rocks rock!

Thanks for reading

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Rock Puzzles

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