St. Pete Rocks on Facebook gave us great inspiration -- and publicity when we posted our event.
Materials: day-glo spray fabric paints (leftover from when we made dog bandanas); Jane donated a lovely set of 18 acrylic paints she got on sale at Michael's for $8; a ton of Sharpies; and two big bags of river rocks from Home Depot. I did make up an idea sheet using ideas from Pinterest.
We also provided sealant. And although Amanda, our teen volunteer, had been soooo helpful beforehand, this is when her weight-in-gold started racking up. Because ten minutes before we had to close the library, kids were still painting, and we had to get them out the door. I told them it was time to apply the sealant, but everyone was still wet. So she patiently started blow drying rocks (of course I keep a blow dryer at the library), and we got everybody out the door (fifteen minutes late). That was when each kid got feedback on how cute their rocks were too. Note to self: blow the whistle a little earlier for clean-up! And assign the kids clean-up chores! They know how to screw lids back on!
Our attendance was lower than I expected considering the interest the event seemed to stir up, but a bit above average for my regular summer reading programs. Materials were cheap and of course I paid no presenter. Because we have a very small meeting room and the kids had to move around a lot to access the different paint set ups (not to mention moms wandering), chaos ruled, but that could just have been my style, aka Creative Chaos. My meeting room is carpeted, and I had to work a bit to clean up a couple spots, but no permanent damage was done.
I have a lot of leftover rocks and paints. I will replace the Perler beads at my Make-It Station with them so that kids stopping in can decorate rocks with Sharpies for the rest of the summer. I MAY even let them get out the paints.