Written by JoAnn
Rocks are boring.
Most kids would disagree with you!
Many kids find rocks irresistible. They seem wired to have a fascination with (and propensity toward) gathering fistfuls of rocks. Even the smallest, featureless bits of gravel are fair game.
Families needn’t travel far to encourage children in a treasure hunt for rocks. Smooth, lustrous options can be found just a stone’s throw away from one’s own front door. Rocks used in landscaping are especially appealing and offer many delightful picks. Even a local bike path can provide a vast menu of craggy specimens.
Rocks promote curiosity and inspire all ages to connect with their environment. Left to their own devices and a healthy dose of outdoor playtime, children easily discover ways to interact with their rocky world.
Young kids scoop rocks into buckets and tote them around. They pound and scrape rocks on concrete driveways creating a satisfying vibration to the hand. Puddles offer an irresistibly wet landing zone for rocks. And plopping their little bottoms down on a pebble filled driveway is one of the most joyful pastimes any young child will experience. The ensuing dust cloud is a glorious bonus.
As they grow, their focus deepens. Older kids display rocks on window sills, porch railings and tree stumps. They hide them in dresser drawers. They fill their pockets with them. Kids gift rocks to adults. Sorting and protecting rocks in a recycled egg carton is a time honored tradition. With great pride, kids share these treasured collections with classmates at school.
Rocks provide all children with one of their very first connections to nature. Margaret McMillan stated, “The best classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky.” How true! Embrace childhood curiosity. Promote a child’s desire to have an active relationship with the outdoor world. Follow their lead to literally get down and dirty.
Rocks are many things but they’re not boring. Kids love them. And through their eyes, you’ll learn to love them too. Just remember to check everyone’s pockets at laundry time. Your washing machine repairman will thank you.