Is it just a universal rule that kids love rocks? Each of my children have at one point had a rock collection. I didn’t quite understand the obsession with rocks until I saw some adorable painted cactus rocks! Cacti are trending right now, and I, too, seem to have fallen for the prickly little suckers. When I saw mini rock gardens that looked like cacti, I wanted to try creating my own toddler-friendly version. Here’s how I created my own collection of DIY cactus rocks.
Materials: river rocks, bamboo planter, paint, sponge brushes, fine tip paint brush
The painted rock cacti I saw were all in sweet little painted terra cotta pots. While adorable, my little guy would have that broken into pieces in two minutes flat! Luckily, I was able to find these adorable plastic look-alikes! These eco-friendly planters are still bright, colorful and cute, but they’re also unbreakable and totally toddler-proof—plus, they’re biodegradable!
First, paint your rocks. Use as many rocks as you’ll need to fill your planter. Remember, if toddlers will be handling the rocks, make sure they’re all big enough to not become choking hazards!
My daughter loves to help paint, so I made sure to put paper under her rocks for any wayward paint strokes! We used three shades of green for our cacti and painted them with two coats each, making sure to allow for drying time in between coats.
Once the green paint is dry, use a fine tip paint brush to add cactus spines with white paint.
Fill your planter with river rocks then add your painted rocks on top to make your perfect mini cactus garden.
Enjoy your DIY cactus rocks! They make a great sensory item for little ones, and they’re also great for toddlers who love to stack (and unstack) toys.
My son loves to dump things out of containers and put them back in, so our little pot of rocks kept him busy for quite awhile. Big sister was so proud to have helped create a fun project for her little brother, and mommy got her cute cactus fix! I call that a win-win-win project that kids of all ages will enjoy—even 34-year-old kids! Our little cactus rock gardens are now an adorable addition to our outdoor space where my kids can enjoy their rock obsession with mom’s blessing.