Pockets full of Rocks? Use them for meaningful learning opportunities!

Updated: Mar 19

Do you have a little one that comes home with pockets full of rocks? Rocks actually make a wonderful and free play material that has endless possibilities that target executive functioning skills like problem solving, flexible thinking, planning, and organization.


Make the most of their rock collections with open-ended play that builds executive functioning and critical thinking skills. Get started with a few ideas from the printable available here.

  • Demonstrate how you use rocks to make a design or form letters and invite them to try on their own

  • Try making a comment about the features of one rock and try sorting them into different categories.

  • Find rocks with some unique shapes, trace their outline on a piece of paper and then play a matching game.

  • Use flat rocks to stack, how many rocks can you stack before it falls? How can you get it to go higher?


Rocks can also be used for loose parts play.


Loose parts play has no specific function or goal and the parts, in this case the rocks, can be used for whatever your child can imagine. Loose parts play gives your child the opportunity for creative and flexible thinking through experimentation and exploration.


Follow their lead with how they use and explore the rocks!


You can also make the most of your mission to collect rocks by planning, asking open-ended questions and making comments with rich language as you seek them out:


  • Where do you think we should look or where have we seen rocks before?

  • I wonder what we can use to carry out rocks.

  • I think we have so many small rocks, where can we get small rocks?

  • I noticed how all these rocks are so smooth and this one is rough

  • This basket got so heavy, how many do you think we have?


Have fun collecting and exploring the endless possibilities of play with rocks!


To learn more check out this video or check out our collection of other rock activities.


For other fun ideas and activities use the search feature in our blog or watch this 2 minute video to learn how to save time and money through simplified teaching through play.