photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem via Unsplash

Stepping-Stones: A Summer Tradition

June 5, 2020 | by katie jones backer

Are you looking for a fun activity to do with your family or friends? Perhaps you are welcoming a new family member this season? Or looking for a unique gift for the grandparents? Or maybe looking to spice up your garden décor?

An enjoyable, affordable, and meaningful activity to do with the kids (or yourself!) is to paint patio stones or rocks to ring in spring and summer each year. You can cherish the treasures, capture the year, and watch as artistic skills improve (well, mine haven’t really, but my daughter likes to see how hers have with age!).

We started doing this the summer we adopted our daughter in 2017 and have now painted stones four years in a row. It is so special to look back each year on the stones (and the memories!) which now line the gravel area on the side of our yard.

I wanted her to be able to put her “stamp” on our home when she moved in. To begin to see pictures of herself on the walls, enjoy handmade decorations filling our home AND yard, and collect happy memories with us. It was hugely special and helpful with attachment and strengthening our bond. I didn’t know this activity was something we would stick with, but she enjoyed it so much (as do I), that it has become a favored tradition.

If you have a space filled with gravel, river rocks, or bark in your yard, adding a cute, painted stepping-stone or rock can really give it character, and makes for a fun conversation starter when you have company.

If you want to try it yourself, it is very simple!

Our Materials:

  • Patio Stone
  • Acrylic Paints and Paint Brushes
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Enamel Gloss

And that’s it! You can usually find stones at a garden center or nursery. (There are even stepping-stone/rock-painting kits sold if you’re looking for a quick activity too).

We usually have music, sunglasses, and a smile as we happily paint in the backyard the first week of every summer vacation!

Once the paint is dry, I spray the stones with the enamel gloss and let them dry to seal our paint and to get that glossy finish. Then, we set them wherever we want (we use them as stepping-stones to visit our tiny tortoise when he’s in his outdoor enclosure… but you could use them for whatever purpose you like).

Enjoy! 

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