In the last post of our R is for Rocks series, I shared about our rock demo activity. After breaking our rocks into tiny bits, I wanted to use some of those pieces for other learning experiences. First we used the little pebbles to make a rock.
I found the specific steps for this activity in Rocks and Minerals. Although the book itself was a little advanced for my preschoolers, it had a lot of great information. We enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading some of the facts on the pages that the kids found most interesting.
We gathered our materials: sand, pebbles, glue, and a disposable cup. I used a clear cup so we could see the layers of “rock.”
We alternated adding layers of sand, glue, and pebbles until we had the cup about one third full. Then we waited and waited for over a week for our rocks to dry.
When we thought the rocks were completely dry, we cut the cup off of the rock. And we were surprised to find that the rock still wasn’t dried all the way through. I almost scrapped the whole project and dismissed it as a fail, but instead we separated the layers out and left them to dry over night.
The next day the pieces of rock were fully dry, and we were able to pick them up and examine them. My daughter was very intrigued by the difference between the layer that was on the top of the cup and the layer that was on the bottom of the cup.
See the steps in action in the video tutorial below.
Overall it was an interesting project of the kids, but if we give it a try again. I will (1) use much thinner layers of sand and glue, and (2) let the rocks dry outside in the sun when possible.
We might also try this version of making a rock in a cup. The materials and process are a bit different, so it might be neat to compare the results of both experiments.
You can find more activities and ideas for teaching kids about rocks on my Pinterest boards.
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