Shake, Rattle and…Rock

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Our last rock activity for the week involved exploring sound.  I put some rocks into containers made from a variety of materials.  Materials we used included metal, glass, plastic, cardboard and wood.  R enjoyed shaking the containers and saying, “take take” (Shake Shake).

I tried weaving with R.  I made a loom out of four Popsicle sticks glued into a square with four pieces of twine glued on. I glued one end of three ribbons on one Popsicle stick and let her weave the ribbons through the string. This was definitely a tough activity for her, but will be one we try again when she is more developmentally ready for it!

Check out the rest of the Rock Theme:
1. Exploring Rocks
2. Rainbow Rocks
3. Recycled Material Rock Maze
4. Fishing for Rocks
5. Shake, Rattle and… Rock

Fishing for Rocks


It was the perfect day for a sensory bin activity today.  I created the sensory bin with the following items: Wooden bowl, rice as filler, a variety of rocks, and a couple of larger potpourri balls and cinnamon sticks to add a beautiful scent.  To explore these materials, I offered a metal ice cream scoop, a metal whisk, a small metal bowl and a rubber funnel.  R used the ice cream scoop to transfer rice and rocks into the funnel and watched the rice pour through.  She loved doing this, despite the fact that the amount of rice she transferred was at times very minimal.  With the whisk, I used the command “mix” and she would swirl the whisk around.  The neat part was that the rocks would get trapped inside the whisk and she could “fish” them out of the rice in this manner.  She also enjoyed collecting rocks in the metal bowl and dumping them back out.

Since R was at the previous activity for over 30mins, we did a short second activity.  We explored the forces of gravity and friction using a wooden cutting board as a ramp.  R had fun dropping the rocks and said “wee” as they went down. She noticed that at times some rocks got stuck and she would need to push them along to get them all the way down.

Check out the rest of the Rock Theme:
1. Exploring Rocks
2. Rainbow Rocks
3. Recycled Material Rock Maze
4. Fishing for Rocks
5. Shake, Rattle and… Rock

Recycled Material Rock Maze

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I made a maze with recycled materials and painted the entry tubes yellow, red and blue so that I could incorporate our colour study from last week and direct R to put rocks in specific tubes.  She loved this activity and I got to see R’s growth in motor skills development and her ability to follow simple directions.

Next, since the weather was so gorgeous, I put water in R’s water table and let her have at it!  I reinforced yesterday’s concept of “up” and “down” in terms of what floats and what sinks.  And then just let her play without my interference.

The last activity we tried was lining up rocks along taped lines.  Unfortunately after having to pull R away from the water tub, she was not too keen to try this. We’ll try this again some other time, but I can definitely see some great extension activities like doing patterns, counting and sorting!

Check out the rest of the Rock Theme:
1. Exploring Rocks
2. Rainbow Rocks
3. Recycled Material Rock Maze
4. Fishing for Rocks
5. Shake, Rattle and… Rock

Rainbow Rocks

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During R’s first time using markers, we made some rainbow coloured rocks.  We added to the sensory experience by using scented markers!  Watching R colour the rocks gave me a great insight into the growth in her fine motor skills.  It was quite the feat to hold a small rock in one hand and colour it using a marker with another!  

We continued with rainbows and exploring markers by making rainbows on the window. Well, I made a rainbow and R made rainbow coloured strokes!

With the day turning out beautifully, we took the opportunity to do some water play.  Although the concept of floating and sinking is beyond R’s current developmental level, it’s still a great activity to explore hands-on.  We used the coloured rocks and blue balls in the water.  I used the positional words up and down to describe the location of the balls and rocks for R.  We also enjoyed watching the colour wash off the rocks!

Check out the rest of the Rock Theme:
1. Exploring Rocks
2. Rainbow Rocks
3. Recycled Material Rock Maze
4. Fishing for Rocks
5. Shake, Rattle and… Rock

Exploring Rocks

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R loves rocks!  Any time we are out, she collects them, so I decided it would be fun to do a bunch of activities with rocks this week that focused on a variety of skills.

We started with an invitation to play with a bunch of rocks and rock like objects, sorted by colour in a wooden tray, plus an egg carton.  She collected the rocks in the egg carton and turned and dumped them out over and over.  I counted aloud as she placed rock after rock into the carton.  She was at this for very long time!

I added soft blue blocks to the exploration to integrate building, stacking and imaginative play. Why blue? Because it was the one colour she learned to say from last weeks colour activities and I wanted to reinforce the concept.  We played together and she played alone.  She practiced fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills.

I also used simple commands with R to place the rocks in different positions in relation to the blocks. We practiced the positional words on, under, beside and in.

Check out the rest of the Rock Theme:
1. Exploring Rocks
2. Rainbow Rocks
3. Recycled Material Rock Maze
4. Fishing for Rocks
5. Shake, Rattle and… Rock