This theme ‘rocks’! We’ve gathered fun and interesting of ideas for a rocks preschool theme, including literacy ideas, art and sensory exploration, plus math and science fun. You’ll find the whole bundle of ideas at the end of this post in a download containing our free rocks preschool lesson plans.
Free Rock Activities for Preschoolers Plus Free Preschool Lesson Plans
Preschoolers are fascinated by rocks! My son has pocketed more rocks from the ages of 2-5 than I could possibly count. Actually, I probably could since they end up in the washing machine on a regular basis!
Rocks are so interesting to young children because they come in so many different sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and even levels of hardness. When my son (he was four at the time) discovered that he could use a rock like a piece of chalk to write his name on the driveway, he was over the moon. So when it comes time to teaching this theme in my preschool, kids are always so excited and ready to begin!
Teaching a preschool rock theme is great learning for any time of the year, especially when the weather allows you to get outside on a rock hunt!
FAQ About a Rocks Preschool Theme
You may have a few questions about teaching this preschool theme! Check out these frequently asked questions for how to teach your preschoolers about rocks.
Preschoolers have lots of questions about rocks! Some concepts kids can learn about rocks include the names for different sizes of rocks (pebbles, rocks, boulders, etc), the properties of rocks (such as textures, colors, and hardness level ), and learning about whether rocks sink or float. Of course, feel free to dive into this topic as much as your preschoolers like including learning about gemstones and minerals.
In addition, learning to compare and sort by shape, size, type, or texture or weighing them on a balance scale is a great way to incorporate fun learning into your rock theme.
Learning about rocks in preschool is not only fun but it sets young children up to learn more about the earth and the world around them. Studying rocks introduces children to earth science and invites them to learn more about the evolution of rocks and how rocks can change over time.
Learning about rocks naturally lends itself to discovering more about the earth, environment, and science experiments. Incorporate rocks with this fun gravity experiment or using some pre-k favorite STEM tools to explore.
Important Info about these Rocks Lesson Plans
These lesson plans for preschoolers are just one theme in a set of over 40 that will become a part of my free Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans.
The Learn at Home Preschool Activity Plans are a set of free activity plans you can use to teach your preschooler at home.
Each set of lesson plans is centered around a weekly theme and includes a minimum of 16 activities that can be done throughout the week. They are designed to be done at home with parents, but many preschool teachers are using these lesson plans, too!
Just glance over the lessons each day, gather the very few materials needed, and you’re ready to go!
All the preschool learning activities are quick and easy to set up, requiring very little (if any at all) prep and only require the most basic of household materials. This makes them especially easy for parents to implement…and this makes preschool teachers happy, too!
These activities also work wonderfully in the classroom, and if you’re a preschool teacher who is remotely teaching you can send these lesson plans to your student’s parents.
Engaging Preschool Activities for a Rocks Theme
These preschool rock-themed activities cover the main academic areas plus include lots of hands-on, free exploration and opportunities to build language and vocabulary and develop conversation skills.
For a free download of all the rock activity ideas, head down to the bottom of the post!
Literacy Activities for a Rocks Preschool Theme
Pebble Letter Formation – Gather some small pebbles or rocks and print these alphabet formation cards. Invite your preschooler to form the letter by lining up the pebbles to create the letter. Model starting from the top and following the arrow down as you lay the pebbles down. Start by building your preschooler’s name first and then choose random letters. Invite him/her to share the sound that the letter makes and think of a word that begins with that sound.
Letter Stones – Grab 26 stones from the craft store or on your nature adventures. Using alphabet stickers or a permanent marker, label each stone with each letter of the alphabet. Use these stones to label the beginning sounds of things outside, make names, practice short words, or put in ABC order. These are a blast to play with and stack too!
Don’t Forget Picture Books!
Whether you read fiction or non-fiction, these fun rock books are great for learning about types of rocks and identifying various types and their features. This is our book list for the best picture books for a rock preschool theme.
Math and Science Activities for a Rocks Theme in Preschool
Rock Count and Draw – Gather some rocks and print the number formation cards, invite your preschooler to practice writing their numbers on the sidewalk with the rock. Which rocks can be used to write like chalk? Draw a ten-frame and fill it with rocks! How many did you need?
Rock Count– Place a sticker on one side of 10 stones and place the stones in a bowl. Then shake the bowl and count how many sticker rocks are facing up. This math activity is great since there is no prep and it’s so fun to collect rocks on an outside nature hunt!
Rock Investigation – Set up various rocks on a table with a magnifying glass, a spray bottle with water, and a balance scale. Invite them to explore the types of rocks, compare size and weight, sink or float, and use descriptive words like smooth or rough. Preschoolers will have fun and are learning too!
Playful Preschool Learning Activities for a Rocks Theme
Pea Gravel Sensory Table – Add pea gravel to a sand table or in a large bin. Add sticks, sifters, cups, small toy cars, dump trucks, etc. Children can “draw” roads or other designs on the gravel or haul the gravel in the dump truck. Or they can do construction work. Kids love to dig into the pea gravel which helps build fine motor skills as they scoop, use tongs, and push vehicles through the rocks.
Make Sand Dough – This dough dries to create a stepping stone for your garden. Using 1 part white glue, 2 parts flour, 2 parts sand, and 2 parts water, mix together to create a dough. You may need to add water or flour depending on the consistency. This recipe could also be used as a science experiment. Invite your preschoolers to make predictions about the outcome and measure and pour along the way.
Make Stone Soup – Read Stone Soup and make stone soup using natural materials, water, and a big pot and spoon!
Social-Emotional Activities for a Rocks Preschool Theme
Kindness Rocks – Being kind is one of the most important life skills for young children to learn. Invite them to participate in shared kindness art by painting rocks and leaving them with little encouragement and notes in various places. Think of the park, the playground, or even at school or in the community. Share this video with your preschooler of the kindness rocks project and get them excited to participate!
Be a Friend Through Thick and Thin – Go to YouTube and listen to the story, Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry. This story uses simple text to get a very important point across – how to be a friend. After reading, ask your preschooler to discuss what the pinecone did in the story. Was his actions kind or not? Re-create the story with your preschooler by gathering a stick and a stone. Invite them to act out the scenes and retell them. Or come up with new scenes for this adorable story. Read Stick and Stone Best Friends Forever for the next story in the series and follow along with these two pals on their adventures.
Just Plain Fun Rocks Activities for Preschoolers
Start a Rock Collection – Grab an empty egg carton and head out on a rock-collecting adventure. Fill each of the twelve spots with different kinds of rocks and stones.
Paint a Pet Rock – Grab some rocks and paint them bright colors. Add some googly eyes or feather hair, give them a name, and make them your very own “pet”!
Rocks & Minerals Scissor Cutting Practice – This printable is print and cut! Invite your preschooler to use their scissors to cut along the lines. Remind them to manipulate the paper rather than turning their hand to cut. Scissor practice builds hand strength to prepare for writing!
Get Online Activities for a Rocks Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the non-fiction book, Rocks Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough by Natalie Rosinsky. Pause the video after each page and talk about what interesting info was learned. Invite your preschooler to point out a personal connection they might have to that page or a question they have. “Do you know anyone who wears minerals for jewelry? Did you know rocks can come from volcanoes?”
What Are Rocks Video – Learn about rocks and minerals along with Moby the Robot in this video.
Be a Rock Detective – Learn about different kinds of rocks!
Make Your Rocks Theme Even Better!
These extra materials are certainly not required but sometimes those thematic items really help your theme go the extra mile. These are some of the rocks toys and activity kits I like to use with my preschoolers.
Get Your Free Rocks Lesson Plans Here
Want to include these rocks activities in your lesson plans? Ready to grab your free printable lesson plans with all these rocks theme activities for preschoolers?!
No problem. I’ve made a printable for you. Just fill out the form below and it will be sent to your inbox.
I am an educator, book enthusiast, and a stay at home momma to two precious and long-awaited littles. My degree is in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction and I have spent the last 15 years working with young children. I feel very fortunate to have this time to watch my babies grow and I can’t wait to share my passion for learning and reading with you!