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Hot Rocks

Discover a new way to teach your child the concepts of hot and cold.

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
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What you need:

  • several smooth stones 
  • old crayons 
  • ice cubes 
  • newspaper 
  • box 

What to do:

  1. Take your child outside and find a few rocks. Point out their various shapes and sizes. Help your child select seven or eight smooth rocks about the size of your fist and bring them into the house.
  2. Set aside three of the rocks. Put the remainder on a cookie sheet and heat at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes. The rocks should be noticeably warm, but not hot enough to burn your child.
  3. Spread newspaper on the floor or on a table and place the heated rocks on top. Discuss why the rocks feel warm as your child touches them.
  4. Select one warm rock and let your child rub an ice cube over it. Talk about what happens as the ice melts. Ask your child to tell you where the water is coming from. Rub an ice cube over an unheated rock and observe what happens. Discuss the differences between the rocks with your child.
  5. Choose another warm rock and ask your child to scribble on it with some old crayons. Your child will enjoy watching the crayons drip onto the paper as she draws. Look at the crayon drippings on the paper and talk about the shapes they make. Point out how new colors are created when several crayons melt together. Then your child can draw on an unheated rock and see how the crayon remains solid.
  6. Place several rocks in a box. Have your child reach in and identify the heated ones just by touching them.

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