Nifty in Nature: Pet Rock

By: Grace Kelly, MS OTR/L and Kira Selden, MS OTR/L 

Make your very own pet using rocks! Pets make good friends and play partners. Give your pet rock a name, feed it, take it on a walk, train it, or make it a home! See below for materials, instructions, benefits, and ways to change it up. Don’t forget to take a picture and share your creation! 


  • Rocks
  • Paint 
  • Paint brush  
  • Cup of water 


  1. Find a rock outside! Search for smooth rocks, if possible. Take the time to explore and compare various rocks with your child: are they rough or smooth, round or irregularly shaped, big or small?
  1. Gather paint, paintbrush, and cup of water.
  1. Get creative and paint your pet rock to match your desired animal. For smaller children, have them copy your paint strokes step by step as you move along. Older children may benefit from having a visual model in front of them to copy. Challenge your child to add details as they demonstrate interest – for example, don’t forget your whiskers!


  • Promotes fine motor precision  
  • Improves visual motor skills 
  • Encourages sustained engagement  

How to Change it Up:  

  • Decorate with markers  
  • Paint your favorite movie or book character 
  • Make a house for your pet rock to live in