What does a rock garden have to do with math? Lots! While your child is collecting rocks, she is also counting. By studying each rock's unique shapes, she's discovering early geometry. And by painting rocks, you're adding a dash of color recognition and matching. Bottom line: Math is important in everything you do—even while on a simple nature walk!
What you need:
How to do it:
- Rocks (and a bucket to collect them!)
- Egg carton
- Paints and paintbrushes
Brain Building Bonus:
- Head outside and collect 12 (or more!) rocks, counting as you go, and pointing out the shapes.
- Once you get home, have your child sort the rocks by color or shape.
- Then, your child can paint each rock a different color and paint one of the egg cups in the carton the same color as the rock.
- Once the paint is dry, have your child name the colors of the rocks and match up the rocks to their respective egg cup.
- For older children: Encourage them to mix paints and experiment with color. Can they come up with an entirely new color? (Can she make periwinkle or aquamarine?)
Gather some of the extra unpainted rocks and spread them out on a table. Take turns describing each rock using simple observation (no touching or giving the answer away). Be sure to say all the colors you see (even the specks) and find ways to describe the rock shapes (e.g., it's a circle but with a small triangle poking out).
How this builds brains:
An up-close look at rocks is a great way to build your child's visual discrimination skills, by noticing how rocks are different, and by comparing colors and shapes. You can even work on your child's math vocabulary by asking him to describe the shapes and colors he sees in each rock.
Let's learn! Let's have fun!
Get more brain-building activities for your kid! Check out our Brain Building Boot Camp with Dr. Christine Ricci.