Frugal Outings That ROCK!

Sometimes you just gotta get out of the house, but that can be an issue if you don’t have money to spend. Well I’m here to tell you that you and the kids can have an enjoyable outing without spending a fortune (let’s face it, it’s easy to blow a big chunk of the budget at the cinema or tenpin bowling).

Recently I took my three and half year old daughter on an outing that had many benefits. It included the opportunity for fresh air, exercise, use of gross and fine motor skills, and use of imagination and art skills.

Living in a semi-rural area means we have lots of lovely opportunities to spend time in nature. So I decided to take my daughter to a nearby river to collect smooth river rocks for painting (thanks Pinterest for the inspiration!). She loved the idea of rocking hunting for “treasure”.


For as many rocks as she put into her bucket, she also throw a few into the water and watched the ripples… she seemed to really enjoy that.


After collecting our desired amount of “treasure”, we took the time to enjoy the outdoors and commune with nature (we are nature lovers after all).


When we got the rocks home it was time to wash and dry them. My daughter loved being part of the process of preparing the rocks, and I’m sure your little ones would enjoy it too… it is their “treasure” after all.


Once the rocks are dry they are ready to paint. The great thing is that they can be painted with acrylic paint which is really cheap to buy- around $2.00-2.50 per tube or bottle at your local discount store. I found that the rocks, being somewhat porous, absorbed a fair bit of paint. Next time we do this activity I’m going to try Mod Podging them first to create a barrier… I will let you know if it works.

As you can see, the white painted rock on the left has absorbed the paint.
As you can see, the white painted rock on the left has absorbed the paint.

This is where the little ones can go crazy with their imagination and create works of art that rock!


I also purchased the paint brushes from the same shop as the paint, and they were $2.00 a pack, which gave 5 brushes of various sizes. If you don’t have a paint palette, a disposable plastic or paper plate will suffice, or even a piece of aluminium foil.

Once our rocks are finished I will Mod Podge to seal and once dry we will create a little rock garden in our yard. I will post pictures when all is complete.

My daughter really loved this outing and activity and it only cost us the petrol (and since this river was only a few kilometres up the road, the petrol was next to nothing). The paint I already had, but as I stated the paint and brushes are quite cheap.

Happy treasure hunting!