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Cake and Pi

Mineralogy/ crystallography for a 6yo?

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Do you guys know of any really good resources for learning about mineralogy, crystallography, or other topics that may appeal to a child intensely interested in rocks and minerals? 

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Not off the bat but how much chemistry and physics does he know?  One site to get him started might be http://www.mineralogy4kids.org/mineral-properties.  You may want to check the Mineralogical Society of America and see if they have chapters in your area.  They do quite a bit of outreach and events for children.

 

http://www.irocks.com/minerals-for-kids/ is another site you could look at.

 

I would actually hand him a hammer and a good lupe and let him smash rocks.  A fresh surface is usually much more exciting than what can be seen on the outside.  There is a lot that can be inferred from the type, size, color and shape of crystals in terms of the environment the rock was formed in and under what conditions it lived on.

 

At that age I would also let him build models of crystals and think about the structure in terms of arrangement of atoms.  Both subjects can get pretty intense.

 

Jewelry can be interesting but I was always partial to looking at rocks under a polarizing microscope.  If you have a university/college near by and they offer geology as a major, you might want to talk to them and see if the can give him a tour through the labs.

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Not off the bat but how much chemistry and physics does he know?  One site to get him started might be http://www.mineralogy4kids.org/mineral-properties.  You may want to check the Mineralogical Society of America and see if they have chapters in your area.  They do quite a bit of outreach and events for children.

 

http://www.irocks.com/minerals-for-kids/ is another site you could look at.

 

I would actually hand him a hammer and a good lupe and let him smash rocks.  A fresh surface is usually much more exciting than what can be seen on the outside.  There is a lot that can be inferred from the type, size, color and shape of crystals in terms of the environment the rock was formed in and under what conditions it lived on.

 

At that age I would also let him build models of crystals and think about the structure in terms of arrangement of atoms.  Both subjects can get pretty intense.

 

Jewelry can be interesting but I was always partial to looking at rocks under a polarizing microscope.  If you have a university/college near by and they offer geology as a major, you might want to talk to them and see if the can give him a tour through the labs.

 

Thanks, I'll look into those!

 

We went to the library and checked out a ton of books.  I don't really feel comfortable letting him play with my hand lens or hammer since he tends to handle things roughly and is often careless with other people's possessions, but I ordered cheap ones online for him which will hopefully arrive sometime, eventually, soon.  We have a couple different rock and mineral exhibit trips planned as well.

 

We haven't done any chemistry officially, but DH is a chemical engineer and I'm sure DS#2 has picked up a little bit from DH's ramblings.  He's got the basic idea of atoms and molecules anyway.  I'll have to ask DH to pull out his molecular model kit so we can make some crystalline structures.  Marshmallows and toothpicks would probably go over well, too.  The only physics we've done is the lessons about forces in Mystery Science, so not a whole lot there either.

 

This is the first time he's shown any significant interest in anything besides witches, wizards, zombies, dragons, fairies, etc., so I'm trying to make the best of this opportunity to suck him into something real.

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That's one of my oldest dd's favorite topics and has been for many years.  When she was younger we grew crystals and made rock candy, though we had our best luck during the drier winter months.  She really liked a kit that we bought that had several small polished stones imbedded inside of rock and she got to use a hammer to get the stones out.  We bought and broke geodes.  We visited a local cave.  We polished stones.  A favorite book around that time was the Basher Rocks and Minerals book.  We have also checked out every intermediate level book that our library has on crystals, rocks, minerals, and gemstones.  She also particularly liked the DK books on these topics (Rocks and Minerals & Crystal and Gem).

 

As she got older she now likes (and has for a few years) field guides, and is especially interested in the chemical content of her favorite kinds of gems.  It has fueled an interest in the elements and chemistry.  She has also been learning more about how to tell real gems from fake ones.

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That's one of my oldest dd's favorite topics and has been for many years.  When she was younger we grew crystals and made rock candy, though we had our best luck during the drier winter months.  She really liked a kit that we bought that had several small polished stones imbedded inside of rock and she got to use a hammer to get the stones out.  We bought and broke geodes.  We visited a local cave.  We polished stones.  A favorite book around that time was the Basher Rocks and Minerals book.  We have also checked out every intermediate level book that our library has on crystals, rocks, minerals, and gemstones.  She also particularly liked the DK books on these topics (Rocks and Minerals & Crystal and Gem).

 

As she got older she now likes (and has for a few years) field guides, and is especially interested in the chemical content of her favorite kinds of gems.  It has fueled an interest in the elements and chemistry.  She has also been learning more about how to tell real gems from fake ones.

 

Thanks for all the great ideas!  This is very helpful :)

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You might enjoy Geology Rocks!.  It's the book we're working with right now - mostly hands on experiments with basic explanations of everything from plates to the Mohs scale.

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You might enjoy Geology Rocks!.  It's the book we're working with right now - mostly hands on experiments with basic explanations of everything from plates to the Mohs scale.

 

Forgot about this one.  We liked it, too.

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