What You Need
- Bucket or bag for holding a collection of stones
- Large paper
How to Do this Activity
Grab a bucket or bag and head out the door. While you’re walking together, ask your child to find the smoothest (smallest, largest, whitest, darkest, wettest, most speckled, heart-shaped, etc.) stone possible. Encourage her to talk about what she’s finding. Collect the stones in the bucket or bag, bring them home, and lay them all out on the table or floor.
Make a chart together that shows all of the different rocks you found. Then, make labels for the stones with words that describe their attributes (small, cold, wet, etc.). Your child can write these words or copy the words once you’ve written them.
Extend this activity by looking at rocks online or in an encyclopedia to see if you can find their scientific names. This is also a great activity to do at the beach or near a stream, creek, or lake…just make sure to supervise your child and set boundaries.
What Your Child Learns
Through this activity, your child learns some beginning facts about geology, such as how rocks differ in terms of texture, hardness, color, and pattern. More important, your child learns to slow down and observe, wonder, ask questions, compare and contrast, and notice differences. These skills lay the foundation for later scientific thinking.