Kids Craft: Indigenous Inspired Good Luck Stones - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Craft: Indigenous Inspired Good Luck Stones

| August 10, 2011 | 43 Comments

indigenous inspired stones
As some of you may know, I recently had a very short trip to Australia! I am fortunate enough that I was able to go down under for a lovely friend’s gorgeous and fun wedding and that my family where able to stay behind and look after the children. Lucky me. Although I had a week “off” from everything and concentrated on “doing nothing” and catching up with my friend, I did “get inspired” whilst out there… I found both a lovely book written by an Indigenous author, as well as find some “Good Luck Stones” as a small gift for the children. I thought that the good luck stones my serve as inspiration for the children… little did I know quite how much! Within 25minutes of handing them their gift, we were already painting….

First to the book!

The Book

The Crow and the WaterholeThe Crow and The Waterhole, by Ambelin Kwaymullina. When travelling, I love picking up “local” books and I chose this book for several reasons –

1) as I was hoping to do an Indigenous inspired craft, I wanted an indigenous inspired book to go with it.

2) the book was published by Freemantle Press – i.e. a local publisher

3) the story and illustrations themselves appealed to me… so:

The story is of a crow, that spies (itself) in the waterhole, but thinks that this beautiful and courage bird is “someone else”. She sets off to try and be a “better bird”, always encountering “other” crows in the local ponds and streams.. until one day the kookaburra points out to her, that it is her all along – she is brave and couragous. She is beautiful. She just needs to look at herself. I love the story, as it tells children to look and see that they too are wonderful eventhough “others always seem to be better”. It also features classic Australian “characters” – the gum tree and the kookaburra!  The illustrations are beautifully vibrant and an in many ways the most beautiful part of the book.

Read more about the author here.

The Craft

As mentioned, I found some little “Good Luck Message Stones”, that I thought the children may like – they are small, colourful and pretty. With lots of lovely detail.

The originals:

aboriginal crafts

I handed the children one each and to my surprise, Pip Squeak in particularly, was nuts over them! She kept on demanding Red Ted’s stone too… and once in her grasp wouldn’t let go of it. I decided we had to paint some more straight away.. then they could each have several. So within about 2 hours of my landing back in the UK we were already painting away. The Englishman was impressed and secretly pleased to have “handed the kids back over” to me!

I underestimated this craft big time. They LOVED the original stones. They LOVED the painting. They LOVED using marker pens to add detail. And they LOVE playing with all the stones. So much so, that we already “lost” one before I could take a photo of the finished product… and then had “tears” when I tried to take a photo of them all together 8 hours later as Pip Squeak absolutely did not want to hand them over.

I guess stones are wonderfully tactile, add some bright colours and they are irresitable.

My kids are only 3.5yrs and 20months old and our final stones reflect this. Imagine what a 10 year old could make.. do have a go! I know, some time in the future, we will do these again!

Materials: Stones, acrylic paint, marker pens

If you do not want to use acrylics, the “crayon and hot stones” method would look great too – heat the stone in the oven, carefully hold crayon ends to it and let them melt and cover stone… you may have to play with the heat a little to get it just right. But recommended this to a friend and she made some BEAUTIFUL stones with her kids (aged 3yrs and 1.5yrs).. we are yet to have a go.

indigenous crafts indigenous inspired crafts

Paint your stones and let them dry. We did 3 different colours – pink, blue and green.

indigenous inspired stones indigenous inspired stones

Red Ted decided to draw a bridge, a man, some rainbows and lots of squiggles.

indigenous inspired stones

Pip Squeak LOVED the permanent marker… resulting in lots of uhm, permanent marks on my “new oilcloth”… hey ho. Guess that is what the cloth is there for. Pip Squeak only wanted to use black and did decide to do lots of dots when I pointed out the detail on her original stone. Red Ted wasn’t so keen on dots… Surprisingly she did NOT paint all over the original. *phew*.

Oh and she totally refused to give the pen back.

And… isn’t that arm simply scrumptiously chubby?!?!?

Red Ted is so proud he takes the above photo (I just cropped it a little).

indigenous inspired stones

Trying to take our “final shot photo” – small hands kept creeping in!

indigenous inspired stones

Red Ted’s stones are on the left. Can you see the large pink one – that is the bridge! Below it, you have the green stone with the little man.

Pip Squeak’s are on the right. Can you see the dots on Pip Squeak’s large green one?

And surprisingly, we now have no more fights over the stones! They both have enough!


For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list. If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:

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Category: Kids Craft, Nature, Stones

Comments (43)

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  1. Helen says:

    My toddler adores collecting stones so we’re definitely going to try this. Thanks!

  2. Esther says:

    Sounds like an interesting and inspiring book!

    The rocks look lovely. I like the pink one with bridge, polka dots and the rainbow colored rock

  3. You must have a stone-filled garden now!!

  4. Red Ted Art says:

    They are indeed all over the house… but strangely they don’t want them in garden!!!

  5. Rashmie @MommyLabs says:

    Sounds like an inspiring book. I too love to pick story books as well as text books from places I travel to.
    Rock art is always so heartening – for kids as well as for adults… :)

  6. These would be perfect to give to grandparents!

  7. Miya says:

    I’m in Australia. My kids recently made these good luck stones at school for ‘Naidoc Week’. It’s nice to see them travel to other parts of the world!

  8. oooh, my children will love this! Fantastic idea and so simple. xx

  9. Emma says:

    We adore painting stones; we usually use old nail varnish for the “paint” and then permanent pen and it works a treat. Best craft ever

  10. Rachel says:

    That books sounds lovely and the painted rocks turned out beautiful! I love books with good messages, so I am definitely going to look into getting a copy.

  11. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaah so pleased you are all liking the stones 😉

    * Love the nail varnish idea!
    * Def great to see crafts travel the world (isn’t the internet just great for that!)
    * And yes, I do think it is a lovely and colourful book! Can’t go wrong!
    * Parent’s gifts: good idea, save that mine won’t hand them over!!!!

  12. Aimee says:

    Those look adorable!

  13. these are great Maggy! I will have to do these down the road with the girls. They loved when we made our ladybug stones so I know being able to make whatever they like will be an even bigger hit!

  14. Isil says:

    Oh these are so pretty!

  15. Debi says:

    I’ve seen this idea before, but not with your candor about trying to replicate the experience with little kids (which I appreciate dearly). I’d love to try this with my own two boys. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Karen says:

    Every kid deserves a good luck stone- I love this idea!

  17. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you for your lovely comments! And yes.. I can see us making these time and time again (in fact, the kids have already requested to do more…)

  18. SnoopyGirl says:

    What fun stones. I remember painting stones with my big sisters as a kid. Such fun! Thanks for sharing!

  19. The colours are so vivid. The bridge one is so good. All the art is clearly sinking in.

  20. GoodynuffMum says:

    Love these. But where do you get the stones? I was always told to never remove stones from beaches. Ethical dilemma!!!

  21. This counts as an entry in the Reading.Explore.Learn.- Summer Reading Challenge.

  22. wow, a short trip down under, how wonderful and exhausting with the long flight and time difference! love these painted rocks, gorgeous! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  23. You have inspired me to try this with my kids. Your children seem to have enjoyed the experience so much! We have a backyard full of stones that would be perfect for this very thing.

  24. Michelle says:

    How fun and colorful! I’ve been wanting to find some smooth rocks or stones to paint. Love the crayon idea, too. Thanks for linking up with us at the Show Us Your Town hop. Have a great Sunday~!

  25. Kasia says:

    The stones are great! They did such a good job. I had to laugh when I saw this post because we have about 30 to 40 painted stones on our window sill. My 2.5 year old has been draging stones and sticks home since she was 2. Yes we have many and I am not allowed to throw them out. It was her idea to paint the stones and she loves doing it. I just have to figure out what to do with the sticks he he

  26. sarahmumof3 says:

    I love the stones you purchased, and I love the ones you created too, I have just followed you from the monday mingle, and will be back to read more of your posts, and I will deffinately go and paint some stones!!

  27. Lauralee says:

    So simple yet so great. I know my kids will adore this!

  28. The “small hands creeping in” are what make the pictures perfect! Wow – you have really attracted a lot of great links this week – I’m never going to make it through them all – but they all look worth visiting.

  29. Such beautiful stones – both the originals and your children’s creations!

  30. Natalie says:

    What a beautiful and simple idea! We did some crayons on hot rocks this summer, and it was a big hit. Thanks for joining WMCIR!

  31. mummiafelice says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I should do this with my children. We did so in our old house. This garden needs some brightening up!

    Thanks for linking up!

  32. Jacke says:

    These stones are great. I love the bright colors. What a great idea to pick up local books. I’ll have to remember that if I get an opportunity to travel soon :)

  33. Judy says:

    I love how bright and colorful both the ones you brought home and the ones your kids decorated are! I am also extremely jealous that you got to go to Australia…my cousins live there and I seriously hope to go back one day.

  34. Anne says:

    I love picking up books when travelling too – a great souvenir you’ll actually use! B painted stones in preschool for St. Patrick’s day – all green with glitter glue – he treasured it!

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Oh how lovely! I bet it looked like a magic stones! Beautiful! I will have to make one with glitter and the kids!!

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