Space activities do not have to be elaborate to be fun for kids. This moon rocks bottle activity was engaging and simple, full of learning and play. It appeals to any child who likes rocks, and that’s most, if not all of them.
Finding a pile of small rocks is usually easy. Rocks have a sort of magnetic or magic attraction for kids. They’ll know where to find some. Besides some rocks, kids need an empty water bottle with a wide mouth. Once kids, rocks, and water bottle are all in the same place, it’s time to count down, blast off, and journey to the moon. When they have landed, they start filling the water bottle with the moon rocks.
Yes, that’s it. That’s the play-of-the-day. While a grownup could fill up the bottle in just a minute or two, a child picks up each rock one-by-one and checks it out. It’s as if each rock has a story and kids want to hear it. Kids look for lines, swirls, spots, curves, edges, and other markings on rocks. Little Sister spent quite a long time filling her bottle with moon rocks.
This moon rocks bottle activity may not seem like much, but there’s a lot to it. For example,
- Problem-solving: Kids need to think about the best way to make each rock go in the bottle. It might not fit the first time. If it doesn’t fit, what then? Maybe a plastic shovel will help or maybe not.
- Making choices: What rock will come next? What should happen to ones that don’t fit? We don’t think making choices is a skill that needs practice, but how often do we ask kids if something they did was a good choice?
- Size and space: Not outer space this time, but inner. Kids need lots of experiences to know if something will fit in a space or not. This can be a challenge for some adults.
- Concentrating: Filling a bottle with rocks needs eyes and hands working together on the activity. This demands some focusing and paying attention.
- Language: This is a solitary activity, but chances will want to show someone what they have done. They will also tell about it. There could be a story about how some rocks didn’t fit.
- Fine-muscle control: At this age, the small muscles in the hand, wrist, and fingers are still developing. Picking up and manipulating the moon rocks is good exercise.
- Emotional regulation: A rock that doesn’t fit can be pretty frustrating. Kids get a chance to cope with their emotions as they figure out what to do.
- Goal-setting: Filling up a whole bottle is quite an achievement. Play can involve work but when done, kids can feel proud of their effort.
These are some of the ways kids learn as they play. Would your child enjoy this moon rocks bottle activity?