31 Days of Halloween–Day 9

I need to preface this post with a personal note.  Like everyone else, I have big goals–posting every day for 31 days was one of them.  And last week, between 5 days of little or NO internet, my burgeoning fall photography jobs, and, last, but definitely NOT least, a couple personal things that came up, I simply didn’t post.  Not only didn’t I post, but I didn’t do IDEA generation on posts, or projects, or writing towards the blog (which I normally do so I’m ahead).  However, it is a new week, I’m still excited about Halloween, and I believe that we can get 31 posts up this month!  So, here we go!

Today is another fun, easy day in Halloween arts and crafts! All you need are some rounded rocks, paint, brushes, and of course, children.

Kids love to paint. For some reason, sliming their brushes around in sloppy, goopy paint and then making gooey marks with it on paper is one of the highlights of their lives–perhaps, because adults HATE paint. Paint, after all, is messy. It can ruin clothes, carpet, and furniture, and, as an adult, painting is a chore that we must do around our house, forget about being ARTY with it. But whatever the reason, kids find paint magical.

Kids also love rocks. They love to examine them, feel their shapes, learn about their composition, and, if not supervised, they will often find a rock that fits oh-so-perfectly in their palm and they will THROW it, causing possible property loss and/or emergency room visits.   Adults cringe when boisterous children pick up rocks.

So, I thought, why not combine the two—paint and rocks!  Give the kiddos something to do that they will find enchanting, and might make an additional, non-violent use for rocks.  Of course, because paint is involved, it will still be messy.  But, we are all adults here–we can get over it, right?  And, if it’s a warm day, the kids can paint outside.

So, here is the art part—get some paint, acrylic craft paint is fine.  Brushes are important as well, and they will probably need fine tipped brushes.  And let those kiddos create their own set of miniature jack-o-lanterns out of the rocks!  When they are finished, depending upon the age of the child, they may look NOTHING like recognizeable “faces” on pumpkins.  But, I guarantee it—the kids will be THRILLED!

Wash the rocks and dry them.  Let them air dry a little longer if you can.  Then, have the children slop on a base coat of paint, most probably orange.

This then needs to dry before they put on the faces, so send them out to play or something.  Then, give them whatever other colors of paint you have and let them go to town—my kids chose purple and yellow for their faces.

Depending upon the opacity of the paint, you may need to do a second coat both for the base and for the faces–you will have to be the judge.  You can also give them black permanent markers to do the face work, whichever they are most comfortable with.  Then, you may clear coat them with an acrylic spray, if you like, and display them.

Do NOT get hung up on how pretty the pumpkins are, or how perfect the faces are.  That is the WRONG direction for this project.

Not sure WHAT this face is, but I LIKE it!

Remember, with kids (and with beginning adults) it is about process, not product.  The children will be happy with their results, guaranteed.  Do not put your own “stuff” on that, saying it isn’t perfect just the way it is painted.

You can do internet image searches and find beautiful art pieces made of painted rocks.  And if you are tempted to pick up this hobby as an adult, go for it, and feel free to strive for the absolute BEST painted rock portrait you can.  That isn’t what this project is about for the kiddos, however.  It is for exactly this reason I didn’t go ahead and do a rock myself.  I didn’t want to get caught up in the perfection game, which I automatically revert to when doing my own art.  The children don’t need to carry my baggage.

Have fun with this—search for rocks, paint them, put faces on them.  Be free.  Be easy.  And come back tomorrow!  We will be doing more Halloween art!

Please see my new children’s book, “I HATE HALLOWEEN”, which can be purchased here. It’s a very funny book, and features my cat, Soda Pop on every page.  Please find Bug Summer on Facebook here, and become a fan–post pictures of your own Halloween projects there as well!