Rocks, fossils, gems, and minerals are fascinating. If I hadn’t gone on to study Marine Biology I think geology would have been my chosen science, one of my favourite modules I took in my degree was all about the Evolution of the Earth – no not of the animals but how our planet came to be as it is. A lot of that was looking at the rocks and minerals and seeing what they told us about the world. Like me Kids are also fascinated by rocks, think of a trip to the beach how many rocks will they secrete in their pockets to bring home to add to the hundreds they already have, or how about sitting playing with the pebbles on a stream. Cultivating this interest and extending it to science is easy and there are so many activities that you can do around rocks as well as some fantastic hands-on resources that children will love to use and explore.
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Covering all areas of Rocks, Fossils and Earth Science Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth book from National Geographic Kids and is written in a combination of cartoons and factual information. Starting with how the planet was formed it moves forward and explains rocks, fossil formation as well as volcanoes and earthquakes.
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Books about Rocks for Kids
The first book in our selection about rocks is Let’s Go Rock Collecting – this is a beginner reader book and follows a couple of rock collectors as they explore the world and discover more about rocks. It’s ideal for introducing the different types of rocks, how those rocks are formed as well as some of the uses of the different rocks around the world. I like using this as an introduction with younger children to the subject as although more of a story it is very factual and children can start to get a grasp before going too in-depth.
The Rock and Gen Book goes much more in-depth than the National Geographic book above and provides information about the uses as well as the details about the formation of the rocks. As part of the learning about rocks is learning about why some forms of rocks are better suited for some uses than others this is a great non-fiction book for your non-fiction collection.
Books about Fossils
One of our favourite Fossils Books which we have featured here on Rainy Day Mum twice creating some fizzy fossil eggs and fossils from modeling clay Digging up Dinosaurs by Aliki is a factual story about the work of a Paleontologist and covers how some of the fossils that are dug up are formed.
Aimed at young children Curious about Fossils provides a great introduction to fossils including information about their Victorian discovery and doesn’t just cover fossils being dinosaurs so looks at plant fossils, sea creatures and even common fossils like sharks teeth.
Packed full of more information than you can think of about fossils DK Eyewitness Fossil non-fiction book covers everything from the types of fossils, how they are formed and then examples and details about the fossils including an interesting section about fossils of the future. We do like the Eyewitness books as they have great images which can be used with younger children but the information is fantastic to a high school level.
For young children the Magic School Bus Series combines fact and fiction to create a story that informs. There are also fact books that accompany the series our 3 recommendations for Earth Science are below
The fiction part of the series The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth is perfect to read aloud from preschool level and introduces what happens underneath the soil as the school bus and children jounery through the layers of the earth.
Learn about planet Earth from Earth herself in this picture book ideal for younger readers (beginning school age) in Earth My First 4.54 Billion Years. Covering the formation of the planet, movement of the continents and more this is filled with images and has extra snippets of information about the earth.
I really like the DK Super Earth Encyclopedia not only does it peel back the crust of the earth and look at the layers it also covers how natural elements have transformed and changed the world leading to how our “living” earth is working now and looking at the future of the earth in terms of climate change and more.
Covering a lot more than just under the earth How the World Works looks at ocean currents, rainfall and the water cycle as well as how weather patterns are formed. Mixing Science and Geography this pop-up and learn book is a fantastic addition to your bookshelf.
Activity Books for Learning About Rocks, Fossils and Earth Science
With a combination of information and activities, The Earth Science Book Activities for Kids by Dinah Zike is fun to pick and choose different activities from to investigate and explore this fun combination of Science and Geography.
I love this book for inspiration of hands-on activities to do with kids – Geology Lab for Kids covers real investigations and activities kids can do getting hands-on with rocks, fossils, minerals and the earth’s surface. Perfect for some practical science that you will all enjoy.
Activities for Studying Rocks, Fossils, and the Earth
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.