“Mani!! Presents, Presents!!” exclaimed my two year old granddaughter.  Yep, presents: tubs of rocks!  As I laid these rocks on the floor, curiosity and a flurry of activity ensued.  No toys needed.  So much to learn from bunches of rocks.

Both my granddaughters played for hours.  Just touching, feeling and looking at the rocks were fun.  Rocks are as concrete and unique as each child touching them.

The activity can be as simple as going outside on a rock hunt, finding your own rocks to explore to classifying and categorizing by tons of attributes and characteristics.

The girls and I within a few hours time had:

  • Taped a Venn diagram to the carpet with painters tape for sorting

  • Sort by dark, light and both
  • Scratched rocks for hardness with our finger nails, a penny, a nail and other rocks

  • Weighed rocks in a balance scale
  • Stacked rocks
  • Sorted by shiny and dull, big and little
  • Just plain touched and observed how each rock looked and described it

The two sisters, ages 5 and 2 had fun beyond my adult interaction for several hours on their own.  Wow! So much math, science and literacy “rolled” into one.  As I googled the topic, I was amazed at the surplus of ideas that could easily engage any child for weeks!  The concrete and tangible nature of rocks makes them an excellent learning bridge to so many other activities.

So here is one more for good measure.  Write a story with your child about “The Amazing Adventures of the Rock in my Pocket”.  Describe this special rock with 3 qualities, give it a name, and describe 3-5 places it may journey.  What is a problem to be solved in your story?  You have just brought rocks to a new level: characters, setting and a plot.  Now add a moral dilemma and excellent character quality to be found.  This is what may happen when you get between a “Rock and a Child Place”!!

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How many ways can you play…?Left, Right, Left, Right, Left to Right Progression!

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