Friday, January 11, 2013

Outdoor hour challenge: Rock grid study and games

We loved the rock grid study outdoor hour challenge this week! My kids could spend hours playing with and looking at rocks, so they had no problem rounding up their rocks for this. Yes, they all have their own little collections which need to be organized. It looks like we'll be doing that next week for the next outdoor challenge. So excited!  Also, we did do these activities on a few different days, so that is why there is a lot!

April, who is 11, put the rock grid study in her nature notebook.  Unfortunately she didn't give herself a 2 page spread.  But she laid all of her collection out to do some of the grid suggestions.

She picked...IMG_2695

Stack some rocks

Pick a rock shaped like an oval

Then she put them in this glass container for our display table.  She wanted them clearly labeled so her brothers would remember that those were hers if she was going to leave them in our display.  Some of these rocks are ones that she has collected on various trips to the beach, and outings, so they are pretty special.


Preschool rock study time!

My little guys went nuts when I brought out our jar of rocks that Daddy tumbled and made all smooth a while ago.  Yes, we have in the garage somewhere a rock tumbler.  We might have to get it out again.  Anyway, I poured them out on the table, and we did all kinds of things.  This little guy went nuts if you tried to touch his pile of rocks.  He loved them!

IMG_2702 IMG_2703

Little Alex, who is 2, is brushing them off with a brush.  They are pretty nice looking all spread out there.  We have some pretty fancy rocks.

Aric, who is 4, had a blast with the rocks too.  He doesn't really have a collection yet either.  We will probably start one for him.  I can't remember why he was showing me these rocks in his hands, but I know there was a reason...
IMG_2712 He lined up his rocks...
 IMG_2759 IMG_2760 IMG_2761 Then, he tried stacking them. IMG_2763

We read this great book Rocks, Rocks, Rocks by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace that was recommended in the Handbook of Nature Study newsletter.  I was happy to see our library had a copy.  He enjoyed it from cover to cover, and he loved tracing the path with his fingers that they walked through the rock nature park.


He even realized one of his rocks matched one of the rocks that was talked about in the book.


The books we read. I also pulled out Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor.  We did a little unit about rocks using this book a few years back.  It's a fun little book about how you should choose a rock.

This is the other book I mentioned Jump into Science:  Rocks & Minerals by Steve Tomecek.  It has a lot of information, and is perfect for my 1st grader.  He really liked it although we haven't really read all of it, just bits and pieces.

Our rock display

I'm so excited about this.  I finally cleared enough space in our school area for a little nature display.  I plan to change it out as we do different studies.  Right now it's our rock display.  It's not pictured here, but I also added 2 other children's books about rocks:  Rocks, Rocks, Rocks by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, and Jump into Science: Rocks and Minerals by Steve Tomecek.  More on both of those later in the post.


This is Aaron's rock collection.  He loves his rocks, and even has little information sheets on some of them that were bought at nature centers.  We could really use some organization for our rock collections.  I'd also like them to figure out the names of all their rocks.  We'll be working on that next week.


We also spotted many cool rock formations and many many things made out of rock at the Portland, Oregon Chinese Garden during our field trip there.  You can read more about that here.IMG_2734

Digging for rocks, another fun thing this week.  Aaron decided to spend his money he was saving on these kits that you excavate rocks from.  He loves these things, and buys them any chance he gets. 


Aaron decided he wanted to see if any of his rocks float because he read about the lava rocks being able to float.  None of his float, but he had fun trying to find out.

  It was a fun week of rock discovery.  We still have to paint rocks.  We have them all cleaned and ready to go.  Actually, we planned to paint rocks last summer, so the rocks have been sitting in the garage waiting to be painted for a while.  We just never got around to painting them after we collected them from the river.  I had forgotten that we were going to do that, so glad for the reminder!

I love nature studies!


  1. Your family has a wonderful collection of wonder they are so interested! I loved seeing all the different activities you found to do from the grid and newsletter. Thank you so much for sharing your entry with the OHC.

  2. I love your display area. I finally cleared a place off for one, as well. I bet your son would love cracking some geodes open. I think you can find them fairly inexpensively and they make great little gifts.


  3. Love seeing your rock activities! And your nature table is inspiring. :D


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