Get a Free Rock & Mineral Fun Book for Your Kids!

Free Rock & Mineral Fun Book

We have a new free 53-page Rock and Mineral Fun Book available for kids, classrooms and home school families and groups. Sign up for our newsletter through the blog (top right corner) or on our website. You will get an email with a link to download the book. Please note that our newsletter is a double opt-in so once you complete the second opt-in you will immediately receive the email with the download link.The Rock and Mineral Fun Book includes:

  • Puzzles,
  • Coloring Pages,
  • Experiments,
  • Rock and Mineral Identification Flow Charts,
  • Image Galleries,
  • Birthstone Details,
  • Viktor’s Ice, the prequel novella to the Crystal Cave Adventure series.

We hope you enjoy our new Rock & Mineral Fun Book. If you have questions about any of the information in the book or other Mini Me Geology products, please contact us.


Free STEM Resources Available from Mini Me Geology

FREE Resources from Mini Me Geology_pin

I built Mini Me Geology on the idea that science and fun should go hand-in-hand for kids. From the first day I started the business, I wanted to have a supply of free resources for students, teachers and home school parents to supplement their lessons and the use of our kits. Today, our company offers a wide array of free resources including educational articles, rock and mineral identification flow charts, instructions on sample identification, experiments, activities, novels with a touch of real science and science fiction, and much more.

I hope you take advantage of these free resources to enjoy some with your kids and help them learn a little bit about the science of geology without putting a strain on your budget.

Rock & Mineral Fun Book

Mini Me Geology’s Rock & Mineral Fun Book is a free pdf eBook with puzzles, coloring pages, birthstone facts, experiments, rock and mineral identification information, and a copy of our free science fiction, time travel novel for kids. You can get your copy of the Rock & Mineral Fun Book by signing up for our newsletter. A link to download your eBook will be sent directly to your inbox and you can print the games and activities as many times as you like.

Crossword and Word Find Puzzles

Our site has an entire page dedicated to downloadable geology themed crossword and word find puzzles. Just click on the name of each puzzle, download it to your computer and print!

Viktor’s Ice: The Magic is Born Novel

In this prequel novella to the Crystal Cave Adventures series, you will discover the secret of the crystal cave from the moment the magic is born. If you have read books in the series or if you are just starting with our adventures, you will love this story of how the magical crystal cave came alive and helped Mr. M find his first rare mineral. Get your copy of Viktor’s Ice today.

Ask-a-Geologist Questions & Answers

Our Mini Me Geology YouTube channel features questions and answers submitted by our site visitors. You can browse through our videos and find the answer to some great questions. We are always looking for more great questions to answer, so send us your questions, and look for a video answer on YouTube and our Blog.

Rock & Mineral Identification Charts

Do you have rock and mineral samples and are unsure of their names? The Dig Into Geology section of our website features downloadable identification flow charts for minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks. These charts have the most common rocks and minerals on Earth.

Visit Our Blog for Experiments, Articles and Interesting Geology Information

The Mini Me Geology Blog has approximately 250 articles including details about unique geological locations, fun experiments, interesting activities and much more! You may enjoy some of these popular posts:

What Mineral is My Birthstone and what are its Properties?
How to Draw a Cross-Section from a Topographic Map
Science Projects You Can Perform With Edible Materials
Growing Rock Candy Crystals: A Sweet & Fun Science Experiment
‘Bread Rocks’ Make a Fun Metamorphic Science Experiment
Ask-a-Geologist Video #11: Why do pumice and scoria have holes and granite does not?
Why do sandstone rocks sometimes have holes in them?
Growing Salt Crystals is a Fun Geology Experiment for Kids (and adults, too)!
The Fizz Test for Limestone & Marble Rocks
How to Perform the Geology Fizz Test without Hydrochloric Acid
Ask-a-Geologist #4: Why do geologists test rocks for calcite?
10 Ways to Decorate your Home or Office with Rocks and Minerals
Piper reviews the Colossal Rock and Mineral Kit
The Geometry of Minerals: How Some Crystals Form Unique and Beautiful Mathematical Shapes
A Metamorphic Rock Lesson So Yummy You Can Eat It!
Loess – the Earth’s most fragile rock!
Rock Salt or Halite It’s one Great Mineral
Fluorite – A Special Mineral of Many Forms and Colors
A Rock Weathering Experiment You Can Do In Your Kitchen!
Ask-A-Geologist #8: What is obsidian rock used for?
Ask-a-Geologist #22: What are some common household items made of rocks and minerals?
Glaciers are Awesome!
Ask-a-Geologist #10: What Are The Remains Of Once Living Organisms Found In Sedimentary Rocks?
Rock & Mineral Coloring & Activity Book – Now in Print
Do You Have a Sandstone or a Quartzite?

Explore the Mini Me Geology blog today and learn more about this fascinating science!

Contact Us for More Great Ideas

I hope you take advantage of all of the free resources Mini Me Geology has to offer. If you have questions about anything on our site, please contact us!

Fluorite – A Special Mineral of Many Forms and Colors

Fluorite is a unique mineral that forms in more colors than any other mineral on Earth. The most common colors are blue, red, purple, yellow, green, and white. In developing the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, Friedrich Mohs chose fluorite as the example mineral for the hardness of four (4) on the scale.

Italian mineralogist Carlo Antonio Galeani Napione named the mineral in 1797. The name fluorite is derived from the Latin word “fluere” which means “to flow.” Fluorite was often used as a flux in iron smelting, which is believed to be the reason behind the name choice.

Fluorite often forms in low to high temperature hydrothermal veins inside rocks, especially those containing lead and zinc minerals. It is also present in some igneous and metamorphic rocks. Fluorite is often found with other minerals such as galena, calcite, quartz, sphalerite, and borite. Crystals of fluorite can form in cubes (squares) or octahedrons (diamond) shapes.

Common Properties of Fluorite

Formula: CaF2
Other Names: Fluorspar
Color:  Blue, Red, Purple, Yellow, Pink, Champagne, Brown, Green, or White
Hardness:  4 on Mohs Hardness Scale
Streak:  White
Luster:  Glassy to Dull
Density:  3.175 – 3.56 g/cm3
Crystal Shape: Cubes, Octahedrons, Dodecahedrons. Sometimes twinned crystals occur.
Fracture: Conchoidal to splintery
Cleavage:  Perfect Octahedral

Beautiful samples of fluorite exist in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, England, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Fluorite is a common component in enamels, hydrofluoric acid, cooking utensils, telescopes, camera lenses, jewelry, and home décor items.

Fluorite Mineral

Fluorite Mineral Fun Facts

  • Fluorite crystals often grow together which is called “twinning.”
  • Fluorite crystals will fluoresce under ultraviolet light.
  • Jewelers sometimes facet fluorite crystals and use them as imitation diamonds although it is a much softer mineral making fluorite less ideal as a gemstone.
  • In addition to forming cubes and octahedrons, fluorite can occur in bands. One of the most famous forms of banded fluorite is called Blue John and found in Derbyshire, United Kingdom.
Fluorite Octahedrons

A Spectacular Rare Form of Fluorite

A rare type of striped, or banded, fluorite is the Blue John Fluorite found in the Blue John and Treak Cliff caverns in England. These caves are located in the Peak District in England near the town of Castleton, Derbyshire. The caverns formed within limestone strata that deposited in deep ocean waters millions of years ago. Layers of shale and some gritstone, a type of coarse sandstone common in this area, cover the limestone. The geology of the Blue John Cavern is fascinating and discussed further in a separate blog post.

Blue John Fluorite

This rare form of fluorite is so fascinating that it was the catalyst for an entire book series titled, the Crystal Cave Adventures. This book series starts when teenagers Emma and Brody fall through a time-traveling cave and land in 1775 England to steal a sample of the rare mineral for their friend, geologist Mr. M (aka Heath Matthews). Mr. M’s stunning rock and mineral collection is scheduled for national display when a thief breaks into his house and destroys all of his samples and maps. Emma and Brody vow to help rebuild the collection, later discovering the secret, magical time-traveling cave that Mr. M used to collect his unique samples. With one simple step, the adventure begins.

Blue John's Cavern

From the book, Blue John’s Cavern:

         “The Blue John Fluorite is one of the rarest forms of a common mineral. Its name comes from the French words ‘Bleu Jaune’ which translates into English as ‘Blue-yellow.’ The Blue John form of the mineral is located in a hillside near a large mountain called Mam Tor, which is just outside of the town of Castleton,” Mr. M said. He stopped walking and opened a long tube he was carrying and removed a street map. Mrs. M, Emma, and Brody held the map open as he pointed to a solid green area that showed the grassy hills of Derbyshire, England. Nestled in the rolling hills were the town of Castleton and a historic castle called Peveril. “The fluorite is found in two caves to the west. One cave is named Treak Cliff, and the other is called Blue John. Inside the caves, the fluorite runs in veins that are as thick as your fist. The fluorite always has bands of colors like blue and purple or white and yellow.”

         “Because of its beauty,” he said rolling the map and placing it back into the cylinder, “the Blue John Fluorite was largely mined and used to make jewelry, statues, and vases.” The group kept walking. Soon they were standing in front of a thick, woven mass of vines that looked like a door covering. “This is where you’ll find the Blue John Fluorite,” Mr. M said.

You can find out more about the first book in the Crystal Cave Adventures book series, Blue John’s Cavern, on our website.

Check out our website www.MiniMeGeology.com for great cubic fluorite samples and fluorite octahedrons. If you have questions about fluorite or any of our samples, contact us! We are happy to help you discover new, exciting samples for your collection.

The Best Sciences Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday or another special event, finding the perfect gift is part of the excitement. We know you want to give a great gift that is fun and unique. As parents, we often want gifts that are also “good” for children because they are healthy, engaging, or educational. For the adults on our list, we are always searching for something new and different that will be a happy surprise. Mini Me Geology has the perfect mix of ideas for everyone on your list from your youngest rockhound, to the teenagers in your life, and adult friends and family who love collecting beautiful samples and crystals for spiritual well-being.

Best Science Gifts for Toddler Rockhounds

Rock & Mineral Coloring & Activity Book

Kids under six years old are curious when it comes to science and educational toys but they are still at an age where small parts in some science kits might be a choking hazard if the kids are left unattended. That is why we created the Rock & Mineral Coloring & Activity Book for kids! This fun book is loaded with 78 pages of childhood fun including Drawing Pages, Coloring Pages, Roc-Tac-Toe, Foursquare, Word Scrambles, Crossword Puzzles, Word Finds, Mazes, Creative Writing Stories, and Make-a-Word Games. The Rock & Mineral Coloring & Activity Book was designed with fun activities that also help children become interested in science.

The Best Science Gift for 6 to 12-Year-Olds

Kids that are 6 to 12-year-olds are the perfect age for beginning science kits. In fact, the child who inspired the launch of Mini Me Geology was six years old when he first covered the wonder of rocks and minerals. As a mother and geologist, the owner of Mini Me Geology set out specifically to design kits for this age group so that kids could learn about rocks and minerals but also explore through fun activities such as experiments, puzzles, mazes, coloring pages, writing activities, and creative crafts.

Be a Rock Detective!

Rock Detectives Kits

The Rock Detectives line of kits is specifically designed for the 6 to 12-year-old age group. There are six kits in the series, each with its own detective’s theme. The kits include Mineral Mission, Crystal Experiments, Crystal Geometry, Metamorphic Mystery, Sedimentary Sleuthing, and Igneous Investigation.

Each of these kits has six or seven samples that were specifically picked to fit the theme and a hand magnifier for viewing the samples up close. Each kit has a 30-page PDF eBook that is included on a CD. If you don’t have a CD player that is no problem! We have download links for all of the eBooks and you are able to print as many copies as you like for all the kids in your household. The best part of these kits is that we designed them so that the kids can work on some of the activities alone and perform others with their parents, teachers, and groups just like real scientists!

Junior Rock & Mineral Kits for Kids

Junior Mineral Kit

The My Rockin’ Collection Junior kits series is a favorite for kids between the ages of 6 and 12. Housed in sleek tubes, the junior kits are easy to store between uses, which keeps the rocks off the floor and safe. The My Rockin’ Collection Junior kits are one of our best-selling lines because kids can explore the samples on their own or with a parent. There are four kits in this collection including Minerals, Igneous Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks, and Metamorphic Rocks. Each kit has 10 of the most popular samples from the category and an identification poster that includes fun information, identification tips, and pictures of each of the rocks to help your kids identify all of the samples in the collection.

The Best Science Gifts for Teens and Young Adults

Older kids who are interested in science really love the idea of experimenting with the samples. We designed several collections and kits that allow them to do just that.

Explore the Rock Cycle

The Rock Cycle Kit is one of our most popular kits for teens. This fantastic kit has 20 rock and mineral samples, a hand magnifier for examining the specimens, and a PDF eBook full of information about each of the samples, the rock cycle and how it works throughout the Earth, plus activities, experiments, and games. The Rock Cycle Kit is great for kids who are interested in becoming a scientist because the activities of the kit help them develop a fascination with science and the critical thinking skills with a need for any type of science in the future.

Testing and Experiment Kits

Mineral Observation, Hardness & Streak Testing Kit

Our most popular kit for teens is the Mineral Observation, Hardness, and Streak Testing Kit. This kit is based on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness and includes eight samples from the scale, identification accessories including a white streak plate, a black streak plate, and information cards that explain how to use all of the identification tools.

Popular Science Gifts for Kids of Any Age

Many of the kits we design can cross age groups and uses. We love helping kids explore science at home and helping teachers and homeschool parents in the classroom.

Mineral Madness Kit

Mineral Madness STEM Geology Kit

Mineral Madness is our newest kit for kids and teens. This fun kit has 15 minerals, a white streak plate, and an information brochure with pictures and details about each of the samples, their properties, and fun facts so your kids learn to identify the samples and recognize them in nature.

Earth’s Treasures Geology Sifting Cups

Earth's Treasures Geology Sifting Cup

A favorite of gift-givers and birthday parties, the Earth’s Treasures Geology Sifting Cups are filled with real beach sand, rocks, minerals, and fossils. As kids sift the sand, they find their treasures. Each Earth’s Treasures Geology Sifting Cup is slightly different making them fun to collect and the perfect party favor.

Crack-Your-Own Geodes

Crack Your Own Geodes are a fan favorite for all ages (adults, too). We carry only the largest geodes available that are filled with beautiful quartz crystals. You will love to see the excitement on your kids’ faces as they crack open the rocks to reveal the shimmering quartz crystals inside.

The Colossal Rock & Mineral Kit

Our largest kit is perfect for ages six through adult. The Colossal Rock & Mineral Kit is a two-box kit that includes 10 samples each of minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic for a total of 40 samples. White and black streak plates, a hand magnifier and four identification posters are also included in the kit. Kids will learn about the color, streak, crystal shape, hardness, luster, special features, common locations and uses of minerals while discovering and the different colors, textures, mineral content, uses and properties of rocks as you observe and test your new samples. The colossal rock and mineral kit is house in plastic storage boxes which helps keep everything organized and neat. This is the perfect science gift for future scientists and engineers!

Best Gifts for Adult Rock Collectors

Many adults enjoy collecting unique and interesting rock and mineral samples. Mini Me Geology strives to find the best samples available for our customers. Our collection includes over 120 rocks and minerals so you have an amazing selection to choose from. Each sample comes with an information card that details the properties of the sample, common uses, specials features, and popular collection locations.

Best Gifts for Everyone Who Loves Healing Crystals

Using crystals in meditation and healing practices is very popular today. We have curated a wonderful selection of rough, natural minerals and crystals that pair with each of the body’s chakras so you can create your own personalized collection. If you prefer a pre-made kit, the Natural Chakra Crystals kit has eight wonderful crystals that include one for each chakra and quartz to amplify the power of the others. The included information brochure provides details about each sample and the related chakra and pictures of the crystals for easy identification.

Science gifts are perfect for everyone on your list because they are fun, exciting, and unique. If you have questions about specific kits and samples, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Rocks and Minerals We Love: GYPSUM MINERALS

Gypsum is one of the most unique minerals found in the world with beautiful samples forming in numerous countries and settings. Some minerals, like gypsum, have the fascinating ability to take on different shapes depending on the environment where they grow.

The name Gypsum comes from the Greek word gypsos, which means plaster and mentions of the minerals are known beginning approximately 300 BC. Around the globe, gypsum forms in massive chunks, clear crystals, and as fibrous bundles. Gypsum is a soft mineral and was chosen as an example mineral by Friedrich Mohs for this Scale of Mineral Hardness.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Gypsum

Gypsum is a soft, evaporite mineral that you can easily scratch with your fingernail. Because of its unique properties, gypsum is great for school projects and in-class experiments. Here are some of gypsum’s interesting physical and chemical properties.

  • Chemical Formula: CaSO4  2H2O
  • Color:   Colorless to white but may appear with shades of pink, tan, yellow, blue, brown, red and gray from the presence of impurities in the mineral.
  • Hardness:                 2 on Mohs Hardness Scale.
  • Streak:                     White
  • Luster:                      Glassy, Silky, Pearly, or Waxy
  • Cleavage:                 Perfect
  • Fracture:                   Splintery or Conchoidal
  • Specific Gravity:       2.312 – 2.322
  • Crystal System:        Monoclinic
  • Crystal Shape:          Thick tabular to lenticular crystals. At times, maybe prismatic. Varieties can for rosette clusters, granular masses, and fibrous masses.

Varieties and Forms of Gypsum

Massive Gypsum Minerals Sample

Gypsum is very common throughout the world and has many varieties that can form as single crystals or clusters of many crystals in varying shapes. Massive Gypsum is a common variety that many people think of when they hear of the mineral.

Gypsum is also known to form “roses” which are clusters of lenticular (lens-shaped) crystals. Alabaster is a fine-grained massive form of the mineral that is typically white in color. Due to its beautiful hue and softness, alabaster is a favorite sculpture medium for artists.

Twinned Gypsum Roses Crystals
Twinned Gypsum Roses

Selenite is a clear, crystal form of gypsum. Clear selenite often has good cleavage planes and a pearly luster. Selenite was named after the Greek word for moon because of the “moonlight” appearance when light reflects off of the crystal surface.

Satin Spar is a white, fibrous form of selenite which forms in long strands, which grouped together, form “sticks.” Satin Spar selenite appears and feels silky.

Satin Spar Selenite Stick Mineral
Satin Spar Selenite Stick

Uses of Gypsum Minerals

Gypsum is one of the most useful minerals on earth. From ancient times to now, people have found ways to use gypsum in a variety of products including:

  • Paint
  • Tile
  • Drywall
  • Blackboard Chalk
  • Fertilizer
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Food
  • Hair Products
  • Skin Cream
  • Environmental Restoration
  • Dentistry Impressions
  • Sculpture (Blocks of Alabaster)
  • Metaphysical practices (selenite variety typically)

9 Gypsum Mineral Fun Facts

  1. Gypsum is the most common mineral on earth containing sulfur.
  2. Gypsum can form very large crystals, the largest known being 39 feet long found in the Cave of the Crystals in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico.
  3. Gypsum often forms in sedimentary environments like lakes and oceans when the water evaporates leaving the mineral behind.
  4. Gypsum will slowly dissolve in cold water.
  5. Gypsum has water in its crystal structure. When the mineral is heated, it will lose the water and transform into bassanite (plaster) and then anhydrite.
  6. Because Gypsum is very soft and has perfect cleavage, it is very difficult to cut gypsum with facets. This is why gypsum jewelry is not common.
  7. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is made of rare gypsum sand. Gypsum typically dissolves in water rather than breaking down into sand particles, which is why the White Sand National Monument is so special.
  8. Gypsum often forms with other minerals like halite (table salt), sulfur, calcite, quartz, pyrite, dolomite, fluorite, and azurite.
  9. A sample of gypsum will fluoresce with colors of light blue, yellow and golden yellow under a UV light.

Locations of Gypsum Minerals

Gypsum is found all over the world. Some of the largest and most interesting deposits are located in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Russia, France, Canada, and the United States.

Explore Gypsum and Add to Your Collection

Mineral Madness STEM Geology Kit
Mineral Madness Kit

Mini Me Geology has fabulous samples of gypsum and satin spar selenite available as individual samples and in kits. These great samples are perfect for conducting experiments and adding to a growing collection. Gypsum samples are included in our: My Rockin’ Collection Deluxe Kit, the Junior My Rockin’ Collection Kit, the Colossal Rock and Mineral Kit, Mineral Madness, and the Mineral Observation, Hardness & Streak Testing Kit. If you have any quesitons about gypsum or any of our awesome samples, let us know!

Celebrate Easter & Earth Day Together This Year

Easter Mineral Bundle
Easter & Earth Day Mineral Bundle

Liven up this holiday season by filling those Easter baskets with 12 great mineral samples. In 2019, Easter and Earth Day are April 21st and 22nd. We created a group of 12 pretty and popular minerals samples that are sure to delight every kid in your life. Plus, becuase we know how great Easter candy can be, each set of minerals also comes with a Rock Candy Lollipop!

The Easter Mineral Bundle includes:

12 Mineral Bundle + Rock Candy Lollipop
  1. Clear Quartz Point,
  2. Fluorite,
  3. Sodalite,
  4. Selenite Stick,
  5. Rose Quartz,
  6. Blue Calcite,
  7. Tourmaline,
  8. Citrine,
  9. Red Jasper,
  10. Amazonite,
  11. Red Garnet, and 
  12. Lepidolite.

Get your mineral bundle today!


Happy Pi Day!

March 14th is everyone’s favorite Math Day – Pi Day!

This year we are celebrating with a sale on everything in our store. You can save 10% on absolutely everything including rocks, fossils, minerals, geology kits, testing accessories, books, and posters. Just enter coupon code:

PIDAY

when you check out. Don’t forget that all order over $99 get free standard shipping, too. ($7 flat rate to AK and HI.)

Plus, every order will receive a free ROCK CANDY LOLLIPOP! Sorry, we can’t ship actual pies. Shop now at www.MiniMeGeology.com. The coupon code is valid through March 17, 2019.

Throw a Rock Detectives Geology Birthday Party for Your Kids with this Party Plan

Is your little one having a birthday? Do they love rocks and minerals? Then throw them a Rock Detectives Geology Birthday Party!  This party idea is based on Mini Me Geology’s Rock Detectives line of kits to give your child and their guests hours of fun.

Below you will find a Rock Detectives Geology Birthday Party Plan with ideas that will help you design a party full of rock and mineral identification activities, geode cracking, panning for minerals and storage box creation. Throwing a party is simple, choose the Rock Detectives kits that you want to use as the theme for the party such as minerals, crystals, rocks or all of them.  Your kids can learn about Metamorphic Mysteries, become a Sedimentary Sleuth or solve an Igneous Investigation. You can also design your party around our Crystal Geometry and Crystal Experiments kits or go on a Mineral Mission.

Our Rock Detectives Birthday Party Invitations and Activities eBook includes instructions for panning, geode cracking, storage box creation, and rock bingo as well as invitations to send to your guests! In addition to the activities in the party eBook, each Rock Detectives Kit comes with its own CD with an eBook full of activities, puzzles, and experiments that you can use at your party.

ROCK DETECTIVES PARTY PLAN

Activity #1:  Arrival Puzzles & Coloring Pages

Each party pack of Rock Detectives kits comes with a free parent copy of the Rock Detectives eBooks so that you can print and prepare the party activities from the kits before the kids arrive. Each kit has word puzzles, mazes and coloring pages that you can give to your party guests to occupy them as other guests arrive.

Activity #2:  Create-Your-Own Rock Storage Box

A good geologist always has a way to carry their samples. Create fun storage boxes out of inexpensive items from around your house. Instructions are provided on the Rock Detectives Party eBook. You can use plastic boxes or egg cartons to make great boxes with individual slots for different samples.

Activity #3:  Sample Identity Detection

Print the sample identification and activity pages from the Rock Detectives eBook and let your party guests follow the clues to identify the name of each sample in their Rock Detectives kit. Each kit comes with a hand magnifier to help see the details! We recommend that you use one Rock Detectives kit for every two to three kids at the party so they each have samples to identify and test.

Earth's Treasures Geology Sifting CupActivity #4:  Panning for Rocks, Minerals & Fossils

Mini Me Geology’s new Earth’s Treasures Geology Sifting Cups are a fun party activity and great take-home gift. Each 8-ounce jar is filled with natural beach sand, rocks, minerals, and fossils. No two jars are exactly the same so each child has a unique set of samples. To find your hidden treasures, simply pour the contents through a beach sifter as real geologists do. The sand will fall through leaving your goodies behind.

If you don’t have a beach sifter on hand have the kids create their own by layering several layers of aluminum foil then rolling the ends together to make a bowl. Using the sharp tip of a pencil, poke small holes in the foil to create a homemade sifter that will allow the sand to fall through and keep the treasures on the foil.

If you prefer to make your own sifting gifts, use a small bucket or mason jar and fill it with a mixture of sand, rocks, minerals, and fossils.  Instructions are provided on the Rock Detectives Party eBook. We have bulk rocks and minerals and fossil shark teeth for your panning buckets.

Activity #5:  Geode Cracking

All good geologists break open rocks to see the inside. Kids love to crack open large geodes to see the crystals inside. Instructions and safety precautions are provided on the Rock Detectives Party eBook. Our large geodes make great take-home gifts for your party guests.

Activity #6:  Geology Experiments

All good geologists love experimenting on their samples. Each Rock Detectives kit includes instructions for experiments that you can do during the party like growing sugar and salt crystals, creating metamorphic rock cookies and much more. Don’t worry if you run out of time, you can print the instructions and let the guests take them home.

Activity #7: Wrap Up with Rock Bingo!

Play Mini Me Geology’s Rock Bingo to wrap up your party. The bingo game is included on the Rock Detectives Party Invitations and Activity eBook. A great gift for winners is rock candy from your local candy store. If you can’t find the candy locally, give us a shout and we can point you to some online sources for bulk rock candy.

Get started planning your party today! If you have questions about our kits or how to throw a successful party, contact us.

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Happy Birthday Friedrich Mohs!

Friedrich Mohs Birthday

Today is German Geologist Friedrich Mohs’ Birthday!

Geologist Friedrich Mohs was born on January 29, 1773, in Gernrode, Germany. Born Carl Friedrich Christian Mohs, he was a geologist and mineralogist who during his career worked at a mine, as a mineralogist for a private collector, and as a geologist for a museum. During his career at the museum, Friedrich began to identify minerals using their physical properties. One of these physical properties was the hardness of a mineral, which led him to create the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness in 1812. Friedrich Mohs died on September 29, 1839, at the age of 66.

Still today, we use mineral hardness as a clue to the identity of a sample. The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness is a relative hardness scale with 10 mineral samples and several common items such as glass, fingernail, and a pre-1981 penny. Each item on the scale has a specific hardness. Talc, number one on the scale is the softest and diamond, number 10, is the hardest. The Mohs mineral scale and common object are:

Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

In this video we discuss how to use the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness with your own samples.

Mini Me Geology’s Mineral Madness is the Perfect STEM Kit for Kids

Mini Me Geology is proud to announce their newest geology kit, Mineral Madness. With the importance of STEM education rising, we are dedicated to developing kits that allow children to explore science with quality hands-on samples, accessories and information. The Mineral Madness kit has fifteen (15) mineral samples, a white streak plate, and a mineral identification brochure. Kids are challenged to identify each sample using the streak plate, visual observations and the information in the brochure along with support information from the Mini Me Geology website. After kids determine the name of the sample, the brochure provides additional information about the properties, use, and common locations for each mineral type.

This kit is perfect for kids starting out in geology who are intrigued by the colors, shapes and unique features and older students who are honing their identification skills. Mini Me Geology’s in-house geologist designed this kit so it is economical for parents and schools while providing a generous variety of sample types for kids to explore. The 15 included minerals are:

  • Augite,
  • Azurite,
  • Beryl,
  • Calcite,
  • Fluorite,
  • Garnet,
  • Gypsum,
  • Halite,
  • Kyanite,
  • Magnetite,
  • Malachite,
  • Olivine,
  • Milky Quartz,
  • Amethyst, and
  • Sodalite.

A 2” x 2” white streak plate is included so that students can test the color of the streak to help in the mineral identification process. The brochure includes information such as color, luster, hardness, streak, and features, which will help in the identification process as well as a picture of a typical sample. Mini Me Geology offers free resources in our Dig Into Geology section of the website including how to videos and printable identification flow charts to assist you they work to identify your new samples. Follow these links to download your own free identification charts and learn how to properly test your mineral samples.

Download a Mineral Identification Flow Chart

Video Article:  How to Determine Hardness Using the Mohs Hardness Scale

Video Article:  How to Perform Streak Test

Join in our Mineral Madness and get your kit today! If you have questions about the kit or any of the samples, get in touch.

Special Offer for newsletter subscribers!

We have a new free 53-page Rock and Mineral Fun Book available for kids, classrooms and home school families and groups. Sign up for our newsletter through the blog (top right corner) or on our website. You will get an email with a link to download the book. Please note that our newsletter is a double opt-in so once you complete the second opt-in you will immediately receive the email with the download link.

The Rock and Mineral Fun Book includes puzzles and coloring pages, experiments, rock and mineral identification flow charts and image galleries, birthstone details and a copy of Viktor’s Ice, the first book in the Crystal Cave Adventures rock collecting, time travel series for kids.