One of my kids favorite ways to learn a new concept is with food! So when we were learning about the types of rocks for kids, I knew they would get more excited and remember it better if we did an edible rocks project! I came up with this starburst candy project to teach children about the 3 types of rocks! Use this rock activity to learn about the rock cycle for kids from preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd graders too!
Types of Rocks for Kids
Make learning fun, exciting and memorable with this edible rock science project for elementary age kids! Children will learn about the three types of rocks – sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous as you use starburs. This is a very simple, crude model – but it is effective in helping preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 students learn basic differences between rock formations. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love using these rock activities for kids to learn about the rock life cycle.
3 Types of Rocks
Before we dive into creating our sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, and igneous rocks we need to make sure we all know what the three categories rocks are mostly divided into. Rocks are divided into categories by geologists based upon how they are formed.
- Igneous Rocks – Igneous rocks come from melted rock material, or magma, that lies beneath Earth’s surface. Examples are andesite, basalt, dacite, obsidian, pumice, rhyolite, scoria, and tuff.
- Sedimentary rocks – These rocks often start as sediments carried in rivers and deposited in lakes and oceans. When buried, the sediments lose water and become cemented to form rock. Examples are sandstone, limestone, and shale.
- Metamorphic rocks – Metamorphic rocks start as one type of rock (igneous or sedimentary) and with pressure, heat, and time they gradually change into a new type of rock. Examples of metamorphic rocks are gneiss, slate, marble, schist, and quartzite
I love simple science projects that use things I have on hand. I had leftover candy from Halloween so I decided to use it to teach about rocks for kids instead of my kids eating sugar, which they really didn’t need! Here is what you’ll need:
- Starburst – 3 different colors
- wax paper
- aluminum foil
Rock Cycle for Kids
Start out by making a sedimentary rock. To make an edible sedimentary rock out of Starburst candy you will need to unwrap three different colored candies. Stack them on top of each other. Each of these colors represent a different sediment or material that with pressure and time will become a sedimentary rock.
Place a piece of wax paper on top of the stack so the candy is covered. Using the heel of your hand try to smash the candy as flat as you can get it.
You now have created your sedimentary rock model.
To make our metamorphic rock we are going to once again stack up the starburst candy, this time on wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. We did ours in the same order so that we could visually see the difference when we were only changing one variable. Put the stack in the oven at 350 F for just a minute or so, just enough for the candy to become malleable. Remember the cookie sheet will be hot so have a parent help you using a pot holder. The combination of heat and pressure helped create our model.
Finally, its time to make our model of an igneous rock. On wax paper make yet another candy stack and wrap it in foil and wax paper like before.
Have the adult put this in the oven for several minutes, longer than you did to make the igneous rock. We want the candy to melt and become a liquid like it would be in the center of the Earth in the hot magma core. Have an adult remove the candy and open the foil. Stir with toothpick to blend colors as it would no longer resemble the previous rock, but would be a completely new rock. Set it aside for several minutes and allow it to cool. IT WILL BE EXTREMELY HOT!
Once the melted candy hardens, this will represent our igneous rock.
Rock Activities for Kids
All three rock types can become the other in the rock cycle. I bet you didn’t know what rocks had a life cycle just like animal life cycles!
- Simple Types of Rocks activity for preschoolers with chocolate chips
- Free Printable Types of Rocks Worksheets
- EASY Edible Rocks Activity for Kids
- Learn about the 3 Types of Rocks and the Rock Life Cycle with this fun, edible science activity
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