Monday, May 11

Rock Collecting

Before now our rock collection had been a jar at the nature table. We still have the jar for larger rocks, but now we have started a collection for smaller rocks to compare, examine and study. The clean egg carton does a great job keeping it organized.

After collecting rocks outside on a few of our walks, we sorted through them to choose 12. The rocks were cleaned with an old toothbrush, soap and water.

After a good scrubbing, they were dried and put into the egg carton.

They can be compared by color, size, weight, and more. They can also be examined with the magnifying glass. Eventually we can sketch the rocks too. We also tested the rocks for hardness by using the scratch test. First, the rock is scratched with a fingernail, then a coin, and then a nail (ours is filed down to prevent injury). My daughter really likes the scratch test. The softest rock can be scratched by a fingernail and the hardest rocks can only be scratched by a nail or not at all.


Iowa Birdie said...

Hello there! I found you through linking from other blogs. I was a teacher for 10 years and now have a 21 month old who I have the privilege of being home with every day. However, I sometime feel at a loss for activities to keep her mind moving and developing. I can sure teach 25 fifth graders but feel lost when it comes to my daughter. Could you offer some help please? Thanks so much!

mommyme said...

Hello Iowa! I admire your ability to teach 25 fifth graders! As for your advice comes from a Montessori perspective. Some of the most practical items and "chores" in a house can be the most stimulating for a young child. A lot of the activities I use involve developing skills like pouring, spooning, how to clean something, and in general any skill needed to help my daughter become more independent. I would suggest trying to provide a simple version of some of the things you do daily. These are things your child sees you doing and so your child will have a natural interest in them and they will be stimulating as well. In addition to "practical life skills" I also have a cupboard for playdough, crayons and paper for creative activities. With all activities, I try to involve the senses as much as possible. Children at this age really absorb their surroundings, so even if you feel like she is not "doing" enough she really is taking in everything around her on a daily basis and learning from her environment.