Rock Exploration

My kids are the type that goes outside and finds a “beautiful treasure” which is usually a rock. A piece of granite or gravel is something special to them and they insist that we take it home. We are outside a lot so in turn, I have a lot of “special” rocks. I didn’t know what to do with all of these. We would paint the big ones and lose the tiny ones but there were a few that were really unique that we kept. 

Today I decided to put them in a basket along with some gems and minerals we collected from various gem mining excursions. We separated out the polished rocks we had been given and the gravel stones. Then the excitement happened when I busted out our Rock and Mineral guide along with A Rock is Lively. These materials along with the gloomy afternoon made for a wonderful time of rock exploration. 

I was amazed at how long the girls looked at the books, compared the rocks with the pictures, and matched the colors. They had a great time! We learned all about how different rocks and minerals are formed. And we spoke of the amazing creations God has made for our enjoyment. 

After the girls were done with the books they decided to take the rocks and put them in their purses to use for their treasures and jewels again in a nice round of princess play. It’s always nice to see how fluid their play becomes if you just allow them. I got to overhear them using the correct names of some of the stones we had just learned about.

Play really is the work of childhood. I’m learning a balance of being a facilitator of learning instead of a teacher. This really fits our family well and I’m getting more and more comfortable in my role as I see my children enjoy the learning by allowing their interests to lead them in many different directions. It’s hard for me to stop when they are done. Like today, I wanted to read more about rocks, dig deeper, but they were tapped out and wanted to play princess. I’m learning to take their ques and go with the flow. It’s becoming a wonderful ride with the kids at the helm.