Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rocks as a Loose Part

Rocks are a wonderful loose part and great way to connect to nature! As I think of their history, I am a bit amazed at how they are formed, how old they may be, and how they change over time. I have a decent rock collection, mainly from a great uncle who passed away. He liked that these rocks would be in elementary schools with my students.

I also value the possibility of a big rock pile, larger rocks that take a couple of hands to move, and even rocks from the dollar store.

We really enjoyed participating in Stonework Play Day in November 2017. Joining, we were able to download a packet for the event, including the background of the special day, a poem, tips to host an event, a participation certificate, a 5 step process, and more! Luckily we met at a local park with tons of rocks. I didn't even tote my others around as there were plenty there. Of course, we put them back when we were done with our event. I found that my own son had more detailed drawing after he created his story with the rocks first. He usually makes a "tornado", yet had clear "people" as subjects in his story. I tried to write down what he said as well, even if it was a little morbid.

There are several books we like on rocks and rocks as a loose part. Here are a few:

We also look to art for inspiration. Here are a few of our favorite books on land art/nature art that include stones as part of the work. We often flip through these as inspiration and then create our own works that eventually get recycled as well. 

Land Art in Town (Pouyet)

We also use rocks as part of an invitation. While the rock may be part of loose parts play, it may be used as a manipulative at a later or earlier moment. We use a variety of approaches to exploring and learning. 

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