In addition to those hands-on activities, if your kids are like mine, your kiddos will also want to do some edible activities. I mean, who doesn’t love snacking while learning??
Today’s activity uses Starburst candies to demonstrate the rock process.
Let’s get started!
What you’ll need:
What to do:
Begin by sorting the candies by color. You’ll want a few of each color.
Our first stop on this tour is weathering. Cut each candy into small pieces. This is representing the rocks getting weathered and broken down over time into small pieces.
Next stop in the Rock Cycle: Sedimentary rocks! Now, let your kids squeeze the pieces all together as hard as they can. Don’t squish super hard just yet. We want the pieces of sediment to stick together but still have each piece be recognizable. You will have a chunky, jagged Starburst sedimentary rock in your hand.
Welcome to third stop on our tour: Metamorphic rocks! Next comes the part where you may choose to use the ziplock bags to keep the candies from getting your hands too sticky. Take your sedimentary rock and start really squishing it together. The heat from your hands is going to help the sediments really meld together. After warming the changing rock with our hands, we pulled out a small pan to help increase the pressure on our rocks. And now, we have a metamorphic rock — our sediment pieces have been changed by heat and pressure and it is harder to identify the original pieces.
We are approaching the last stop on our tour of the rock cycle: Igneous rocks!
Place your metamorphic rock into the tin foil boat and set the boat in a pan on the stove. Turn the burner to about medium heat and give it a couple of minutes to heat up–DON’T walk away from it!! (Just tell the kids to be patient. 😉 ) Once it starts bubbling, your metamorphic rock is now melting like the magma within the Earth.
When you are satisfied with your melting, very carefully (possibly with tongs) remove your boats. Your magma oozed out of the Earth and now it needs to cool. Once the melted candies have cooled, you now have an extrusive igneous rock! (It’s extrusive because it formed on the surface of the Earth instead of within the Earth. Remember we said the magma oozed out of the Earth.)
We may have let our rocks cook a little too much…
But once they cooled the “rocks” were still a great example of the process. We took them out of their “boats” and the girls were pretty impressed with their igneous rocks. 🙂
That concludes today’s tour of the Rock Cycle! 🙂 Thank you for coming!