I saw this homemade treasure stone craft ages ago and never got around to making it. I thought making a homemade rock would be a great excuse to teach my preschooler about the Blarney Stone and be a good St. Patrick's Day activity. Making the homemade rocks turned out to be one of the best activities we've done in a long time. The entire time they were drying, she was begging to smash the stones open to find the treasure. As soon as we finished opening them, she was begging to make more rocks. We will definitely be doing this craft again!
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup used coffee grounds
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/4 cup sand
- 1 cup water
Dry the coffee grounds on a baking sheet before using. Mix the dry ingredients together and add the water. Shape into a rock. Form the rock around a small toy or treasure if you want. Dry for several days.
We don't drink coffee and I found it impossible to get a hold of used coffee grounds. I ended up using tea powder, which cost me about a dollar. It was granulated tea, and worked great. Maggie's favorite part was mixing the dough. Even after I set the rocks out to dry, she was gathering up bits of rock dough and making another teeny rock. We made half of the recipe and shaped the homemade rock dough around some sea shells and a “jewel” made from shiny wrapping paper.
Using the shells was neat, because they left an imprint on the inside of the stone and Maggie recently learned the word ‘fossil.' I tried to convince her to make a Dinosaur Egg. She was really excited about the idea, but wasn't willing to sacrifice any of her toy dinosaurs for a couple of days while the rocks dried.
We let our homemade rocks dry in a hot sunny spot (it's nearly summer here) for 2 days before cracking them open. You can see in the pictures that they were still damp inside. We tried the only hammer in the house – Pat from Handy Manny.
We ended up with a more traditional method – the one our house helper uses to whack open coconuts. A rolling pin.
To tie this activity in with St. Patrick's Day, we looked online at some pictures of the Blarney Stone and I explained that it gave you the gift of eloquence (and what eloquence meant). She wanted to make it clear that she wasn't going to be hanging upside down to kiss a rock anytime soon!