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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Painted Rocks

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity for kids - painted rocks
We spend a lot of time at the beach each week collecting rocks. Even as an adult I love the excitement of filling our buckets with these perfect treasures of all shapes, sizes, textures and colors.
The best part about collecting rocks is how amazing they are as a canvas. You can turn them into just about anything, even a very hungry caterpillar. On the back you can paint everything that hungry caterpillar ate! You can even paint your rocks to look like a big tasty leaf or a beautiful butterfly. With just a little paint, you now have enchanting little rocks and a fun way to play as you and your child read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. This post here has lots of tips and supply suggestions for creating your own painted rocks. You can also see some of my recommendations below.
Here are some great tips for painting rocks to get you started (affiliate links provided for your convenience):
  • Amazon has some great options such as these 3″-5″ smooth stones and these 2″-3″ smooth rocks.
  • Crafts stores often have small bags of rocks, but do not purchase ones that have a waxy finish. The paint will not adhere.
  • Home Depot and Lowes garden centers will often have smooth river rocks in the garden section.



  • Watercolor brushes are great for rock painting, even though you are using acrylic paint. This set of watercolor brushes has a variety of sizes perfect for painting details on your rocks.
Markers and Pens


Are you ready to start painting rocks?  Make sure you check out all of my other rocks posts for more ideas. Also I’d love to see what you’re creating. Come find my on Facebook or Instagram and share your beautiful creations.

Looking for more fun rock crafts and activities? You might also enjoy these other rock posts:

Puffy Paint Rocks

Rock Painting with Puffy Paints

Galaxy Rocks

Rock Doodling 

Creative Ways to decorate rocks



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  1. I absolutely love all of your painted rocks. I've pinned this and many other projects of yours. Now to like you on Facebook (if you have a page).

  2. OH MY GOODNESS. You are so talented. Do you get sick of hearing that? I am amazed and impressed. These are GORGEOUS. I am totally in love with this project. You omitted the you need to be able to draw as one of your tips :). I would love to make these. Pinning!!!

  3. well it looks like we will be adding this idea to our summer bucket list and heading to under the pier in Ventura… lots of rocks! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you have done!

  4. Would you believe that I HAVEN'T read this book yet? Bad parenting, haha. I also haven't read Goodnight Moon or I'll love you forever. HA! Great tips on painting rocks and LOVE the butterfly one. I can see mixing and matching being a fun activity. How do you store the rocks? Just in a bin, separated by activity?

  5. I have been marveling over these rocks all week and finally remembered to come and read and comment before I went to bed…these are so, so, so cool! A brilliant idea and beautifully executed. You consistently amaze me with your creativity!

  6. I think I might love this book even more than Jake, but he does like putting his finger in the little holes and counting the food and yelling out what the caterpillar ate. He's not a big fan of Goodnight Moon, but we just got a new book called Goodnight Train and that's much more his speed :-). I've been putting all of our rocks in these muslin bags http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/item/Muslin-Bags/3650_042/49683501.html that I decorate with stamps so I know where to find everything.

  7. Just painted a set of these! Nowhere near as amazing as yours but I'm so happy with them! Thanks sooo much for this fabulous idea!! You're very talented!

  8. Just came back from the north shore of Minnesota with my rocks ready to paint…so many great rocks there.

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