We inherited a rock collection last year when my dad passed away. Almost immediately, I shared it with the big explorer (being mindful to save some pieces of the collection for the little explorer, of course), who lovingly turned over each and every item in the collection, finding beauty in the way only a little boy can.
The collection earned a spot on the bookcase in his room and has since seen little use.
Until I heard about Trailmix.Net’s Rock of the Month Club.
How It Works
The folks at TrailMix.Net make it easy to get started – even for those of us who know little to nothing about rocks and minerals. Here’s a great description of exactly how the rock club works.
One of my favorite features of the club is the parent notes/activities/experiments which offer fun ideas for experiments using the items in your collection. These make it easy for geology novices like myself to help kids learn something new from their growing collection. It’s like getting a free teacher’s guide with every new rock!
Our Notes From the Field
The big explorer loves getting mail. So when his welcome kit arrived – complete with a nifty storage container for future samples – he was thrilled. It took him all of two minutes to grab a pencil and write down the name of the two samples he had, quartz and sodalite, and drop them each into their new home.
When our third rock in the collection arrived, we conducted an experiment to learn about an important physical property of rocks: hardness. First, I asked the big explorer which he thought was harder, the quartz or the apatite. Then we tested his hypothesis by scratching the quartz with the apatite, then the reverse.
Each month, the big explorer devours the rock fact sheets. He’s even started trying to identify the rocks from grandpa’s collection. So far we’ve discovered that grandpa had a piece of quartz, which now sits alongside the big explorer’s own sample in his collection box.
Mike and Sara Barlow of TrailMix.Net aim to blend education with adventure to help kids learn easier, faster and better. That’s another reason I love this rock collection – it’s all about making sure your kids have fun while they’re learning.
And the price? Less than $6 a month (and yes, it is easy enough to cancel your order at any time).
Later this week, I’ll be sharing my 2010 holiday gift list for little nature explorers and you can bet the Rock of the Month Club will be on it. If you have a young rock lover in your life, I highly recommend it.
This review is based on our personal experience. I did not receive any compensation for sharing my opinions. But I’m such a big fan of TrailMix.Net that I couldn’t help but gush a bit. If you have any questions, read my full disclosure policy.