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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Beach Rock Egg Hunt

I am not what most people would call “crafty.” Please don’t laugh at me. I have failed many times when it comes to anything that involves sewing, stitching, painting, decoupage (what??), or scrap booking. In the past, the closest I have come to being crafty is making our annual family calendar online. But that is changing! Since I have become a mostly stay at home mom, I have opened myself up to becoming more hands-on and creative. It is coming slowly, with the help of a patient neighbor (very crafty) and my new obsession with Pinterest. At Christmastime I turned old Scrabble tiles into ornaments. Just this week I cut up paint sample cards into an Easter egg garland. Crafty, right? Good for me!
But what does this have to do with science?
It’s all about rocks this week on Sid the Science Kid‘s Rock and Roll Easter episode. Sid and his friends learn all about rocks because Sid finds an interesting rock in his backyard while on an egg hunt for Easter. This leads the kids on a wonderful exploration of different kinds of rocks and the gang paints rocks for Easter. As the kids and I watched the episode I couldn’t believe my eyes. Sid the Science Kid made an investigation out of my latest craft. I had already done this activity, but without the science tie. The kids and I collected rocks as a crafty Easter Art activity!
Over Spring Break the boys and I spent a night on the Central California coast. It was wonderful. The weather was cool and sunny and the beach was almost deserted. Henry and Leo ran in out of the waves squealing with the cold and laughing until they fell down. The dug deep holes in the sand and made tunnels. I walked around looking at the beach rocks. My husband can attest to my love of beach rocks. I grab a couple almost every time I head to the shore and I have collection from all around the world. I think they are beautiful. On this particular beach day I was looking at the shapes of the rocks. Many of the rocks on this beach were very smooth and round. As I thought about it, I realized they looked like eggs. And a craft was born!
I took the boys on a long walk and instructed them to hunt for rocks that looked like eggs. It was harder than I thought it would be. Henry and Leo kept bringing me rocks that weren’t quite right. I used all the adjectives I could think of: smooth, round, oval, egg like, not rough, not jagged, not flat. I think they thought I was crazy. At once point Leo brought me a rock AND a ladybug.
After a while the boys moved on to other adventures but I continued collecting egg rocks. I wanted us to paint the rocks as an Easter project and as a memento of our holiday at the beach. Here are the rocks we took home:
A few days later, I was struggling over how to paint the rocks. I wanted the rocks to have color, but I wanted them to still look like beach rocks. I called my mother, who is a painter, and told her my dilemma. What kind of paint, I asked? Acrylic? Could I mix it with water? Tempera paint? My mom, every practical, replied: “Dye them like an Easter egg.”
So, the boys and I plopped the rocks into the cups provided in the Easter egg kit with the tablets, water, and vinegar. We experimented with different combinations and learned what colors came out the best (blue and pink). It was a fun activity and a nice preview to the egg decorating we will do this weekend. I think the rocks turned out beautifully.
So when Henry, Leo, and I sat down to watch the Rock and Roll Easter special, we got all excited about our beach rocks again. What kind beach rocks do we have: Igneous, Metamorphic or Sedimentary? To be honest, we can’t really figure it out. A quick search online revealed that the rocks could be any of the three kinds. We will just need to keep investigating and looking at the rocks with our magnifying glass.
Usually, I plan an activity with the kids aimed at revealing the science behind the investigation. This time, we completed a fun art project and learned later that there was a lot of science we could learn from the experience. I can’t wait to get “crafty” with some more science!
What kinds of art projects do you enjoy with your children? Do you have any rock stories to share?

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