What is Geology?
Geology is the science that studies the physical structure, natural history, and components of Earth.
Geology is a great subject to teach children for many reasons, including:
- Geology is a part of the “S” in STEM.
- Geological science is a growing and dynamic career field.
- Many of the projects and experiments in this area are FUN!
- Geology introduces young scientists to elements of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and engineering.
Begin enriching your child’s Geology education by trying some of the activities listed here.
Seven Simple Geology Projects for Kids
- Sorting and Classifying Rocks – Go on a fun nature walk with your kids and collect rocks to study at home with a magnifying glass, nature journal, and a kids’ geology field guide. This activity is great for introducing kids to recording observations, differentiating rocks from dirt and sticks, and introduces kids to the study of rocks and earth.
- Test Rocks for Limestone – Collect local rocks and test them for Limestone using vinegar and observing for the formation of bubbles. This simple experiment teaches kids that rocks are complex and have chemical makeup. It is quick, affordable, and educational.
- Study the Layers of the Earth – The Magic School Bus series is amazing for teaching kids about Biology, Ecology, and even Geology. I highly recommend trying to find the book with audio CD so kids can listen along. The paper plate craft is great for reinforcing the lesson.
- LEGO Soil Layers – Use Legos to build and study the layers of the earth. Nothing reinforces a new lesson like a hands-on building project. Use different colors for the humus, tree roots, top soil, sub soil, parent material, bedrock, etc. While your kids build their layers, use the opportunity to explain what the various layers are composed of.
- Make Groundwater – This simple experiment is a great visual representation of what happens in the ground after it rains. Kids will love pouring the sand and aquarium gravel in the vases and watching the water slowly permeate the ground. Your little scientists will never look at rain water the same way.
- Earthquake activity – Have fun building structures out of Legos, toothpicks, blocks, Lincoln Logs, etc. Then see which structures can survive an earthquake, simulated by sliding a cookie pan under the structure. Encourage the little engineers to compare the structures’ stability, and challenge them to make the sturdiest building possible.
- Make Volcanoes – This experiment is classic! This activity adds another level of enrichment by encouraging kids to make their own volcano using a plastic cup and playdough. The baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring foam is easy to buy and cleanup, and kids will want to watch it over and over again.
Geology Kit for Kids
Kidz Labs’ Crystal Mining Kit (Amazon link) is a fun way for kids to learn about crystal minerals, which are the main component found in rocks. The crystals are buried in plaster, which represents rock, and budding geologists use the provided digging tool to get them out, the paintbrush to dust the crystal, and the magnifying glass to observe them more closely. There is also a little bag for crystal storage. There is also a display case and name and descriptions of the minerals, so kids can learn quite a bit and occupy themselves for a couple hours, for less than $10. It is a great kit for kids ages 5 years and older.
Your local Library is also an excellent resource for fiction and non-fiction STEM-based books.