Facts about Rocks
Enhance these activities by teaching the children some fun facts about rocks prior to engaging in these preschool rock projects and crafts. Let the children know that rocks change dramatically over time. A rock is a mixture of different minerals found in the earth; this is what makes each rock unique and different. The bits of minerals in a rock are sometimes called its grains. Geologists (rock scientists) classify rocks by their size of grain. Many different things can turn into rock. Lava from volcanoes cools into rock, seashells turn into rock, and mud and clay turn into rock. When doing rock projects or crafts let the children search outside first for their own rocks to use. Let them compare their rocks and tell you why they chose certain rocks. If you have a book about different kinds of rocks let the children see if their rocks look like any in the book.
When searching for the rocks with the children look for some bigger flatter rocks for this project. You can have the children make different faces on their rocks, make pet rocks, or decorate the rocks as if they were Easter eggs. Tempera paint works best when doing this project.
Colored Rock Salt
Rock salt can be found at your local craft store. Try dying rock salt by placing food coloring in alcohol and letting the salt sit in the alcohol food coloring mixture for at least ten minutes. Drain on a piece of paper towel and use for your art activities. For example, you can have the preschoolers glue the rock salt on their pictures like when they glue glitter on pictures.
Make Your Own Garden Rock
This craft will make a great keepsake the children can take home and display in their gardens for years to come. You will need a medium size cardboard box, one that will make a decent size garden stone and one big enough to hold a handprint. Additional materials needed include eight cups of quick setting cement, water, ruler, and pencil. Mix the cement and two cups of water together in a bucket. Once mixed, pour the mixture into your cardboard box. Make sure the cement is thick enough that it won’t break easily. Use the ruler to make the top of the cement smooth. Then go ahead and have the child place their feet or hands into the wet cement and push down to make an imprint. Make sure to clean the child’s hands or feet immediately. After doing this you can use the pencil to write child’s name, age, birthday, or whatever the child desires. Let the cement dry for a couple of days and then rip away the cardboard. If the child wants they can use paints to make it more colorful. Finally, the child can display the rock in the garden.
All kids like to pretend to be pirates or dig for dinosaurs. With this project they can choose to do either of these. The materials needed for this project are:
- cup of flour
- cup of used coffee grinds
- half a cup of salt
- quarter cup of sand
- cup of water
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, but the water. Slowly add the water and stir until it is like bread dough. Separate the dough and make into balls about the size of tennis balls. Make a hole in the middle of ball, big enough to hide treasures in. Mini dinosaurs would work great. Put the treasure in the hole and close the hole with extra dough. Let the rocks dry for a couple of days. If you need quicker results you can bake in the oven at 150 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Get Crazy for Rocks
All these preschool rock projects and crafts will surely encourage children to be more aware of the rocks and other things that are in their everyday lives. The next time a preschooler picks up a rock they will be more than likely be thinking of all the possibilities that rock holds.