It’s raining–let’s play with rocks

Totally Awesome Tuesday was met with rain as a cold front whipped through the Shenandoah Valley.  We had to put our plan to visit the Natural Chimneys on hold.

So what to do on a cold rainy day?  Play with rocks, of course.  We are studying geology this week so we read The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth and learned all about sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks.  I’m not sure how much the three year old picked up as he was playing with his Thomas train, but my five year old was pretty interested; the book did have a volcano in it.

Next I grabbed one of our library books, Geology Rocks: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Earth, and we started experimenting.  We headed outside (yes, in the rain) and picked up a bunch of rocks.  Then the boys cleaned and sorted them.  They sorted based on size, the sorted based on color, and they sorted based on texture.

2 preschool boys sorting rocks into bowls

Then we took a hammer, wrapped our rocks in a towel, put on safety glasses and smashed our rocks. We were trying to see if they would fracture or cleave.  One fractured, the other cleaved.

A preschool boy holding a hammer and breaking a rock

We are hoping for a break in the clouds so that we can go on our field trips this week.  If not, we will continue to play with our rocks.

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