Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Make Prehistoric Rock Art with Kids

Some of my fondest memories of History classes were times when teachers assigned projects instead of tests.  In 5th grade my friends and I did a presentation on the first transcontinental railroad.  I still remember wearing costumes and using tea to age our documents.  In 9th grade we shot a soap opera style video featuring King Henry the Eighth's wives.  It was fun to write and film... and even more hilarious to watch.   (Picture bad high school acting mixed with Monty Python style humor.  Yup.  Good times.)  Honestly, I don't remember much else from History classes (ack, sorry previous teachers!) but these projects shine brightly in my memory. They were fun to make and really made history come alive.  Hopefully today's craft will help do that for your kids too!  If they're interested in prehistoric times or art history, then this Prehistoric Rock Art Craft is for them!

Make Prehistoric Rock Art with Kids

Make a prehistoric rock art with kids

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The techniques used to make this rock art is pretty much the same that I used to make this super cute mini Plaster of Paris Christmas village.  So if you liked doing this craft, check that one out too.

Ok. Now let's make some rock art!


  • Craft Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Cartons- washed and dried and cut in half. (I used soup cartons)
  • Twigs 
  • Disposable containers + cutlery 

Let's Make Some Prehistoric Rock Art!

Mix the plaster of paris mix to make rock art

1.  Cover your work area.  Mix your Plaster of Paris according to your directions.  (I mixed mine in a milk jug.  Clean up was super easy.  Once the Plaster of Paris dried, I just squished the sides and the dried Plaster of Paris flaked off.  I could then use the container again to make another batch.)

Pour plaster of paris into cartons

2.    Pour your Plaster of Paris mix into your carton (I used a soup carton.)  Let it set for about 20 minutes.

Carve plaster of paris like a rock with a twig

3.  Check on your Plaster of Paris.  You want it to be hard enough that it will slide out easily from the carton, but still soft enough that you can carve lines into it.  Once it set enough, pop it out, grab a twig and then carve away.  (I channeled my inner prehistoric-woman and used images from the Internet to guide my carving.)

Carve "rock" to make prehistoric rock art!

4.  Once you're satisfied with your design, let your Plaster of Paris completely dry.  (We lived in a pretty humid place, so it took a couple of days.)  Then, paint your rock art!  (I used watered down brown paint to make it look like stone.)

Chuck (then 2) tried his hand at carving, but it was way too hard for him.  But, he had no problems slathering on paint and painting his own rock art!

kid painted prehistoric rock art

Alright.  So now do you see why I think this craft rocks?  (Hee hee hee. Pun intended.)

But seriously, I hope you have fun trying it out with your kids!  What a neat way to step into history and get a glimpse of how early humans made art.

If you're looking for other fun crafts that can be used to teach children history, try these!

And you can always find other fun ideas on my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts!

Happy history- making!