Looking for some fun time with the kids away from the television, phones and video games?
Try a “Rock Walk!”
Sure, some people may call them nature walks but here at Mini Me Geology, every walk is a rock walk because we are always on the lookout for great rock or mineral samples everywhere we go.
No matter where you live, you can find at least a little nature somewhere nearby. Even in bustling cities, there are parks with grass, trees, and rocks all around. Parks, trails, mountains, and beaches are just a few of the great places you can take a Rock Walk with your kids. You can have fun spending time together while you are getting exercise and learning about nature. Once you find a great place to walk, let you kids explore as you go to see how many rocks and minerals they can find. Take along zip bags to keep their favorite samples for their collections.
But there are no rocks around us!?!
Yes, I get that not every town has great rock outcrops or pebble-filled rivers to explore, but you can at least find the building blocks of rocks. For example, we are located on the coast of South Carolina. If you have ever been here, you know that there are no rock outcrops. But we do have great trails and beaches where we can find sand, which is the building block of sandstone and quartzite, silt which is the building block of siltstone and clay which may someday become shale or slate.
When you get home with your zip bag of goodies, you can help your kids break open the rocks to see the inside. Usually, a fresh surface will show you the features, colors and textures of the rock better than a dull, weathered surface that was subjected to wind and rain for years. Always be careful when you crack a rock sample. Wear safety goggles and wrap your rock in a towel before you hit it with a hammer. Before you give your kids the cracked sample, check for sharp edges. Rocks with hard minerals, such as quartz, may have sharp edges. You can easily file or sand the edges to make them smooth.
And, okay, if you absolutely must take your phones with you, use the camera to take some pictures of the samples you find and send them to us either here on the blog or on our Facebook page!
If you need help identifying your samples, download our free Rock and Mineral Identification Flow Charts or post your pictures and we will help you out.
Happy Rock Walking!