With just a few supplies -- paint, glue, and clay -- children can try out their skills as rock artists. Like sculptors, they'll learn to judge proportion and form. Like painters, they will need to consider color and shape, along with such pleasant dilemmas as how to create a tapered wing on a rounded rock. Before painting, kids should sketch out their plan: it's easier to envision what the finished project will look like if they draw it first with pencil on paper.
Tempera paint looks chalkier but washes off easily, while acrylic paint has a glossy finish. Cement glue makes the strongest bond but should be used only by parents working in well-ventilated areas. Kid-friendly glues are less durable and are best for rock crafts that will sit on shelves.