Kids are drawn to natural items and collecting rocks is a great activity that will help your child to develop important life skills, expand their horizons, and learn about categorizing, sorting and observing.
Sounds good, right? So next time you take a walk with your child – bring an empty bag – point out interesting or unusual rocks, or even collect a couple yourself to get things started.
A child’s treasure trove is much more than a pile of dirty rocks, it has real value.
Here’s what they’ll learn:
Having a rock collection doesn’t just mean picking up shiny-looking objects off the ground and tossing them in a box. It means cleaning the rocks, organizing them, storing them in a safe place, and looking after them when they’re transported from place to place. Putting children in charge of all these duties gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility.
The real joy of collecting is sharing the collection with others. Whether it’s explaining the significance of each rock to a family member or taking the entire collection to “show and tell” day at school, collecting offers countless opportunities to be more social.
Where do these rocks come from? What’s their history? Are they or have they ever been used to make interesting or everyday items we use in our lives? A rock collection will stimulate a young mind to think about all these questions and seek answers by reading books.
You can’t collect rocks without doing a lot of walking around outside looking for them! When a child gets excited about a rock collection, it will stoke a fire inside that makes them want to get out and hike, bike, or even camp!
Encouraging a collection is a great way to encourage thinking skills. And collecting — or enjoying your child’s collecting impulse — can be fun for the whole family.
Did you have a collection as a child? Maybe it’s time to start that up again! If rocks aren’t your thing, consider shells, seed pods, or whatever excites your child — and the child in you!
P.S. Don’t foregt to provide a designated space in the house or your child’s room where they can sort and display their new collections!
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