Young kids are naturally fascinated by various shapes, colors, and sizes or rocks they find. Turn that natural curiosity in to a study about types of rocks for kids! This hands-on rock life cycle project will help children learn about what are the 3 types of rock and how they are different. In this rock activities for kids, students will make edible rocks that are Sedimentary rocks, Metamorphic rocks, and Igneous rocks and the rock life cycle in a fun, meaningful way! Use this rock science project with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders too!
Types of Rocks for Kids
Kids learn best by exploring the world they can see and explore. As kids pick up rocks and make rock collections help them to understand the 3 types of rocks for kids with this easy rock activities for preschoolers, kindergartners, toddlers, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 students. With chocolate chips, children will make edible rocks that demonstarte the rock life cycle for kids in a way that makes sense and will stick too! This is such a fun, easy rock science experiment / demonstration for parents, teachers, tutors, and homeschoolers to add to their day!
What are the 3 types of rock
Scientists who study rocks are called geologists. Geologists classify rocks into three basic groups based on how they were formed in nature.
- Sedimentary rocks form at the surface of the Earth in water or on land. These rocks are made from sediments or layers of rocks, minerals, or animal materials. These more chunky rocks are held together by minerals and chemicals or are loose and may break off easily. Sedimentary rocks are forming around us all the time. For example sand and gravel on a beach or river bed might be compacted and dried mud flats harden into shale. Some examples of sedimentary rocks are sandstone, limestone, and shale.
- Igneous Rocks are formed from melted rock that has cooled and solidified. How does a rock melt in nature? Well, deep within the Earth, the high pressure and temperature causes molten rock, or magma to erupte from a volcano onto the Earth’s surface. Some examples of Igneous rock are – Obsidian, granite, basalt, and andesite porphyry.
- Sometimes sedimentary and igneous rocks are put under extreme pressure or heat that they completely change, these become metamorphic rocks. This process does not melt the rocks, but instead transforms them into denser, more compact rocks. Some examples of metamorphic rock are phyllite, schist, gneiss, quartzite and marble.
To make our edible rocks you will only need a couple simple ingredients you probabaly have laying around your kitchen:
- 3 Mason canning jars
- semi-sweet, dark, or milk chocolate chips
- white chocolate chips
- peanut butter chocolate chips
- plastic wrap
- paper, pen, and tape to label each jar
- rock samples from the three types of rock categories – optional
3 types of rocks for kids
I suggest first making a jar to represent each type of rock: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Make sure you talk about what you are doing as you make it and then label the jar.
Start out by adding a layer of brown chocolate chips to a jar.
Rock Activities for Preschoolers
Start by making your sedimentary rock by adding ¼ cup of chocolate chips, followed by ¼ cup of peanut butter chips, and finally by ¼ cup of white chips to a mason jar. Repeat the layers and observe what you see. Next, use a spoon or your fingers to press down and crush the layers as much as you can. The rock is slightly more compact than seperate, but it is still easly to define the different types of chips. This is a crude representation of a sedimentary rock.
Optional: You can attempt to remove the rock from from the jar to see it better. It will crumble but should hold together somewhat.
**Grab this set of sedimentary rocks to show to kids.
Rock Activities for Kids
To make your metamorphic rock you will exert heat on your sedimentary rock. In a 2nd jar repeat your layers like before. Now cover the cup with plastic wrap and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the layers have mostl melted, but are still seperate layers.
CAUTION: The cup and materials will be extremely hot. Do NOT remove them until the cup has completely cooled.
After the cup cools, take it out of the microwave and gently smoosh the chocolate with the back of a spoon. Notice how the layers have changed. The sediments have melted into a more compact rock with smooth layers of rock types; it is becoming more difficult to discern the different types of chips.
Optional: When your edible, chocolate rock cools completely, you can pop it out of the glass and have yourself a metamorphic treat! Spead up the process by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes.
**Grab this set of metamorphic rocks to show to kids.
Rock Life Cycle
To demonstrate igneous rocks you will once again layer your chocolate chips in a mason jar. This time you will melt the chocolate completely by microwaving it for 1 minute at a time and stirring. (This type of rock is completely melted where it is very hot in the earth’s core.) Once it is completely melted and even boiling a little, allow it to cool before handling. Have a parent help you use a pot holder to pull out the mason jar and set on a hot pad. With a spoon drop a blob of the liquid on a sheet of parchment paper as if the volcano spit out the liquid which will cool and start the rock cycle again.
**Grab this set of igneous rocks to show to kids.
This is such a fun, engaging way to learn about the rock cycle in a visual, memorable way for young learners! Dont miss our rock worksheets and our other earth science lessons too!
- Simple Types of Rocks activity for preschoolers with chocolate chips
- Free Printable Types of Rocks Worksheets
- EASY Edible Rocks Activity for Kids
- Learn about the 3 Types of Rocks and the Rock Life Cycle with this fun, edible science activity
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Expand your lesson as you teach about Layers of the Earth for Kids with these fun activities for elementary age students.
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