Fun with painted rocks – dinosaur imaginative play

Guest Post by Ness from One Perfect Day Blog

Painted rocks dinosaur game

We recently spent an afternoon painting some rocks in fun bright patterns. The rocks have been a big hit with my 4 year old son, R. We’ve used them for all sorts of games including a fun garden treasure hunt.  The collection of rocks you see in the photo above reminded me of dinosaur eggs so I decided to create a dinosaur imaginative play scene. We’ve created dinosaur worlds before, but this time I added to the activity by burying our “dinosaur eggs” under some sand and R had to dig to find them.

What you need


Rocks (painted)

Foil or plastic tray

Dinosaur figurines

Decorative stones

Other play items like a fish net, plastic spoon.

Stickts and leaves

Painted rocks dinosaur game 2

I began by filling a tray with sand. I then buried some of our dinosaur eggs under the sand and added glass pebbles, leaves, and of course dinosaurs. I left some of our painted rocks on the surface to add to the scene.

Painted rocks dinosaur game 3

Then it was time for my little archeologist to get to work! I gave R a small aquarium net and a plastic spoon. He scooped and poured the sand, looking for the hidden dinosaur eggs.

painted rocks dinosaur game 4

Jackpot! A dinosaur egg is uncovered.

Painted rocks dinosaur game 5

R loved this activity and added many elements of his own to the imaginative scene including some plastic insects and frogs that we have used in our frog pond small world play scene.  He was creating stories for all the dinosaurs and other animals as he played.

Painted rocks dinosaur game 6

When he had found all the “eggs” he stacked them behind our tree and continued to play and dig around in the sand. I left the tray out and he kept coming back to it all day. I think this one is going to be popular around here for quite a while.

About Ness

Ness is the creator of One Perfect Day, a site full of creative ideas for kids to play and learn, family recipes, and information about positive parenting and connecting with our children. She is also a contributor at Ness loves creating fun kids’ activities and has decided that permanently having paint under her fingernails and play dough in her hair is a fashion statement. You can find One Perfect Day on Facebook and Twitter or follow along on Pinterest.


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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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    • says

      Thank you Ali! Everyone loves a treasure hunt don’t they? :) The great thing about these rocks is we spent a really lovely afternoon painting them and creating something wonderful and now we’ve found so many ways to play with them.

  1. says

    How fun! I absolutely love the language development that comes from this type of play. I really must paint some rocks of our own too as those look so pretty!

  2. suzanne says

    R would have been a palentoligist if he was searching for dinosaur bone or eggs. Archeologists study prehistory and ancient periods of history based on the examination of their physical remains like cities.
    Paleontologists study the fossil remains of animal and plant life of past geological periods.
    Sorry my father in law was a paleontologist and would have rolled over in his grave if anyone had refered to him as an archeologist.

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