Rocks make great resources in the classroom. Now when I say rocks, I mean all kinds of rocks and gems. We regularly use medium river rocks, small river rocks (like gravel), and floral gems/marbles. Whatever you use, you can use them in different ways. Here are five ways we've used them.
1. Count them.
Put rocks with other items and counting mats. My kids love to stack different items on the counting mats, including rocks.
Or count them as you play a counting board game.
2. Build with them.
I think that you can use just about anything in the blocks center. We add rocks (and sometimes other nature items) at times. My kids like to incorporate rocks in their buildings.
Or you can build with them with no blocks, too. Here we're building rivers.
3. Spell with them.
Print letters on paper or make letters with tape on the floor. Use rocks to outline the letters. You could even challenge kids to look at the letters and make them on a table or floor beside the printed letter instead of on top of it.
4. Investigate them.
Use rocks in your nature/science center. Include a scale, magnifying glasses, rulers, paper, and pencils. Kids can investigate the rocks. They can look at them, draw or write about them, weigh them. Hands-on science is great!
5. Use them with play dough.
Add small rocks and gems to your play dough center or activity. Kids can choose how to use them. (They may ignore them, too.) Our kids enjoyed exploring and creating by mixing the rocks in with the play dough. We created pizzas and mountains and all kinds of interesting things.
We've used rocks in all kinds of ways. These are just five of our favorites. How do you use rocks and gems to explore and learn?