Rock Stacking & Penjing

The focus of the Outdoor Hour Challenges this month is on rocks.  We haven’t explored this topic in quite a while so we were excited to revisit it this month.  We love the challenges and particularly enjoy the grid that Barb includes each month – much like a tic-tac-toe of outdoor activities that correspond with the monthly theme.

When my mother came to stay with us earlier this year, we spent a day at the beach.  While there, she introduced us to an activity she and Richard enjoy when they go on outings with Lily, stacking rocks. It was a lot of fun – and a little frustrating too – to delicately balance and counter balance the rocks precisely.

While at first it may seem like simply a fun activity, there is actually quite a bit of science and engineering involved.  While playing around with different rocks, you learn that to balance one, you must keep its center of gravity (its balancing point) directly above its base (the part of the rock that is supporting it).

The kids had a lot of fun and really got into it before the Canada Geese began to get a little intrusive. They had no fear and would literally walk right onto our towel in an attempt to steal our lunch.  Later in the week, we explored Turtle Bay and enjoyed an exhibit in the gardens on Penjing.  It was fun week that incorporated a lot of hands-on learning with little planning .. simply surprises and opportunities for which I kept my eyes open and hears listening.

Submitted to the Outdoor Hour Challenge at Handbook of Nature Study.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

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