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Nature Inspired Aboriginal Art

A little bit about our natives…Rock art is the oldest surviving Aboriginal human art form.

It’s about the act of painting rather than the actual painting. It’s not about preserving the image for posterity but to paint purely to tell a story.

The Aboriginal people derive their paints from naturally occurring minerals from the earth and crush them with a stone palette and water to make a paste.

When Aboriginal people paint rocks as their art, it is an expression of their cultural identity and connection to country.

Empowering our Youth

Incorporating our ‘Empowering our Youth’ Indigenous Program this week, the children painted their own rocks to tell their individual story.

We chose this activity to help the children gain;

  • Cultural Sensitivity – Knowledge, awareness and acceptance of other cultures and cultural identities.
  • Environmental Awareness – Knowledge of the natural earth and choices that benefit the earth such as recycling, conserving energy and water.
  • Sensory Stimulation – Assists to build nerve connections in the brain, supports language development, mindfulness and creativity.
  • Fine Motor Development and Hand-eye coordination.

To begin with, the children felt the sensory texture of the rocks, whether they were rough or smooth and looked at the varying colours within the rocks.

Earthly tones were selected for the children to paint their story with, transferring the paint from the children’s hands and encouraged them to touch the rocks to transfer the paint and explore the slimy, sticky sensory experience of the paint.

The children used their index finger to start with but quickly moved onto grasping their rock in the palm of their hand, transferring their story onto the rock.

Inspiration at home

Children can dabble in telling their own story through rock painting at home.

You can do this while exploring the natural environment and source the earth to make the paint.

You will need:

  • Smooth or rough textured rocks, varying sizes
  • Mud paint

Mud Paint Recipe:

  • Mud
  • Watercolour paint or food colouring
  • Dish Liquid (optional)


Mix all ingredients together.

TIP: Dish liquid helps the paint spread better and helps keep clothes clean after messy play.

Exploring natural environments together to find your rocks, benefit your child in the ways of;

  • Respect for the natural environment,
  • Concentration,
  • Language skills,
  • Increased confidence, social and imaginative play.

We would love to hear about your home experiences in the comments below.

That’s all this month from Miss Rachel, Miss Sabrina and the Little Fish ( Jalumms) room

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