Minerals: crafts and activities for children
The minerals they are present everywhere, they are part of our buildings, streets, materials that we use every day, etc. Knowing the uses that are given can be as interesting for our children as observing their raw status. In addition, we can also teach them to do Crafts with stones and boulders.
Excursions with children to look for minerals
On a field trip, we can propose an entertaining game: search for minerals. It is also a very simple activity, because it is easy to find them. We will tell you to try to find the most beautiful colored stones.
Once they collect the ones they have seen, we will teach them to classify them: quartz, which can be of various colors, mica, very bright, plaster, which breaks easily, granite, formed by three minerals (mica, quartz and feldspar), etc.
In areas of clay soil or in old river beds, if we sharpen the search, we can find much more interesting pieces, such as fossils. These are formed when the remains of a dead animal are deposited in a zone of soft earth, which cover the body and end up fixing the shape of it. The organic remains disintegrate, but the rock stays with the animal's shape and keeps it that way for centuries. Thus, we can be surprised if when searching in areas of soft earth, we find small rocks in which we can clearly see the figure of conches or shells, which indicates that thousands of years ago, that territory was covered by seawater.
Crafts with minerals: colored paperweight
Another entertaining activity for our children can be the manuality of making paperweights from the boulders that we find in our field trips. This type of stones are usually seen in riverbeds, and are characterized by their rounded shape. This form is because they are stones that have suffered a lot in water wear, staying polished, soft and rounded.
We can pick up a few and take them home. Once there, we will prepare a table to make crafts and we will propose to the children to paint the stones.
The aim is to make paperweight full of colors and drawings. To do this, we will use temperas, making sure they are thick so that the color will hold well. We can adorn the stones with flowers, birds, stars, polka dots, etc.
What are minerals for?
For children, it is very interesting to learn where the materials with which the objects we use every day come from. To give you this information, we will propose a homemade game in which you have to find objects made from minerals, which are many: makeup, pencil mines, watch crystals, aluminum foil, watercolors, jewelry , etc. We can also teach them that from the plaster the plaster comes out, that the clay to make the bricks is composed of several minerals (iron, magnesium, alkaline metals, etc.) or that all the metal objects of the house come from different metal alloys (For example, the steel in the cutlery comes from the alloy of iron with carbon).
Experiment with salt: science with minerals
At home we can make a small experiment with salt that will surprise children. It is very simple and easy to prepare: it consists of throwing a handful of salt in a bowl with water to let it dissolve. Afterwards, we will put the bowl in the window and wait for the water to evaporate, which may take a few days. When it has evaporated completely, you can see clearly how the salt has remained in the bottom of the bowl turned into thick and small cubes. Children will be fascinated by the geometrical shapes that salt granites have adopted.
Collect minerals: an interesting activity for children
The mineral collections stand out for their beauty, it is difficult for anyone to be indifferent before a box full of stones that present a fascinating variety of extraordinary shapes and intense colors. There are so many types that suppose all an entertainment for the sight. Many of them can be collected by our own means, it is enough to sharpen the view and look for them in the field.
Depending on the geography that occurs in the place we visit, we will find them of one type or another. Once we return with the pieces that we have collected, we can classify them following the instructions of different manuals that we can find in the bookstores. Many of them will let us know the shape of the stones, the different colors they can present, their use, etc.
In case we want to find curious and original pieces that we can not obtain by our own means, numerous stores that sell minerals are at our disposal. It's a matter of locating them and going to them to take a look.
The pieces for sale do not have to be expensive, and we can find really amazing specimens: turquoise, of a peculiar blue color; the amethyst, whose purple color makes it easy to identify; the pyrite, which is a very characteristic metallic yellow tone and with geometric shapes ... so we can find dozens of them. In some places they are sold, in addition to their natural state, polished and shaped like a sphere or egg, which makes the appearance of the stones more attractive.