If you are a parent than chances are your child at one point or another has brought home a rock they insisted they couldn’t live without. I know having a handful of children that most kids go through this. Children have a natural fasination with nature and beauty and who can blame them? Of course most parents are not open to the idea of a pile of dirty rocks living in their house. It is important though that we help children connect with nature and embrace their love of natural beauty out in the side, or even the rain and puddles. To really excite not only your children, but your own sense of awe and wonder for mother earth, check out a Gem and Mineral Show!
This past weekend rather last minute my family heard about a Gem and Mineral and Fossil show that was local to us in August GA. Had I known about it sooner I would have told all my local readers about it. Alas, the announcement was only seen by us the night before in a local homeschool group. We are a family of geeks who love science and nature and yet hadn’t gone to a local show before here and didn’t know what to expect.
5 Reasons To Take Kids to Gem and Mineral Shows
1. Children Need to Reconnect With Nature
In the last 2 decades childhood has moved from outside to inside and many children have lost their connection with the natural world while childhood obesity has more than doubled. As parents we need to encourage a love of nature and a wonder for the natural world. If children are interested in what is outside, it is easier to get them outside and active!
2. Children Love Treasure
While diamonds may be a girls best friend, girls are not the only ones who love things that sparkle. There are gems are looks just as amazing and are very cheep. Owning such treasure can make a child feel special and further open up their imaginations for open ended play with stones, rocks, gems, and other their other toys. My children love to build with their legos and hide their gems and play out all these crazy and wild stories together that helps their brains thrive.
3. Learning about Gems and Minerals and Fossils
While my 11 year old son liked all the beautiful gems, what he really liked was fossils. One of the great things about Gem and Mineral and Fossil shows is the interaction with people who love these things. So many older people were excited to teach the younger generation about their passion. It was such a blessing to see experts their put stones and fossils into the hands of my children encouraging them to touch and explore and find the special things about each piece. Together we learned about where certain ones came from and when and how they were formed and then found. It was exciting and dare I even say magical.
4. A Gem and Mineral Show is a fantastic day for a cheap price for parents with many kids!
In this day and age where parents have to way costs so closely when it comes to entertaining kids it is important to know you get your moneys worth! The fee to get into the Gem and Mineral and Fossil show for Augusta GA this year was $3 per adult and children were free with adult. We had 3 adults (our oldest daughter is 17) and that covered our tickets for the 11, 9, and 6 year olds and the baby was free too! While a great deal of the show was about buying beautiful stones and such, there was a lot of education as well. My kids adored the displays that where made by kids and the ones made by adults and they loved voting on who was the best. Of course the display with minecraft won all our votes…. the kids also got to blindly get treasure for .25 and this was specially fun as the booth was run by kids who knew so much about gems and minerals and were eager to share what they know. We all found ourselves very impressed with those kids! There were cheap grab bags filled with different kinds of things for $1 each, perfect for kids! Their was a geode cutting set up that was really fantastic to watch. There was a panning station with buckets of sand with hidden treasure in them that kids could put into a pan and then the pan into the water to wash the sand away and it was fun and sparked interest in doing that out in nature! There was also food and a gem cutting area and a station where you can adopt for free your own rock. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and not costly either!
5. We need children to love nature now if we want to save the environment before it is too late!
The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11. (Wells and Lekies, 2006)
I know that my statement might seem a little extreme but with kids in general now spending half as much time outside than 20 years ago and most of that forced adding to that the climate deniers and big business pushing their bottom line we are in trouble. We need kids to grow up valuing the natural world and being willing to fight for it.
Did you know that In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own? If you can’t do this for nature, do it for your children!
Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration.(Burdette and Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg et al., 2007)
No matter where you live, chances are there is a Gem and Mineral show around your area this year. Find out where and when and plan to take the kids! It is worth it!
With all this said, my kids want to join the local Gem and Mineral society as a family. I guess their next monthly field trip is panning for gold out in nature as a social group. Who can say no to that? On a side note, a see a rock tumbler in our future, if you have any reviews on one that is not super costly but great for kids, let me know!
Some of the beautiful stones and minerals we saw at the show! Can you guess what one came home with us? These were all the ones we considered as our “big” pretty purchase.
You guessed it, the Dragon Egg Geode is the one that came home with us. It is beautiful and magical and wild and everything childhood should be! This piece helps everyone’s imagination dream!
What one would you have picked? Should I do a giveaway for something pretty like these?