RAIN ROCK WEATHERING STONE
This is a fun and easy excavation activity that is also great for demonstrating weathering. This excavation is a little different than most as we will not be the ones digging into to this oversized excavation. We are going to place the Rain Rock Weathering Stone outside and let Mother Nature reveal what we have hidden inside.
Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: While it is not required for this excavation activity, you can use colored sand to create distinct layers. This helps to visualize the amount of material that has weathered away over time.
Larger container. A one gallon bucket works great. A five gallon bucket is an awesome option but just be aware this will make a very large weathering stone. A kitty litter bucket, large plastic mixing bowl, or even a two liter bottle with the top cut off are all perfectly workable options.
Plaster of Paris
Wooden spoon or paint mixing stick
Mixing bowl or bucket to mix the plaster and sand
Items to add to the weathering stone. These items will be revealed over time as the rain washes away material. I am a huge fan of adding assorted rough stones to the excavation. Tumbled stones work as well, but they literally tumble out sometimes as the stone weathers away. The rough stones tend to hold into the excavation and really help visualize the effects of weathering. These are just suggestions and use whatever you choose. Legos, small plastic animals, marbles, coins, pretty rocks you have collected are all great options.
Need rocks, fossils, and shells for your Rain Rock Weathering Stone? Be sure to explore our Digital Dig program and earn tons of free stuff to include in this or your next excavation activity!
- We are going to pour our excavation in layers. We are going to do this so our excavations items are revealed over time. To begin, place a few items in the bottom of the bucket.
- Mix three cups of sand with one cup of plaster.
- Add one cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter type consistency.
- Pour the mixture over the items.
- Tap the bucket to settle some mixture around and around the excavation items.
- Allow to set and firm up for about five minutes.
- Repeat steps 1 through 6 adding layers onto layers until your bucket is full.
- Sit your Rain Rock Weathering Stone in front of a fan for several days until it is completely dry.
- Once your excavation is dry, turn the bucket over and gently tap the sides until the excavation slides out.
- Place your excavation in an area where it will get directly rained or snowed on. You will want to pick an area that you can check often. We set ours by our driveway and passed it every day as we went about or normal activities.
- Observe any changes in the Rain Rock Weathering Stone. Be sure to check on the excavation after heavy rains and observe any changes caused by the precipitation.
Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Once you have the Rain Rock Weathering Stone in place, take pictures daily or weekly. This is a great way to observe the effects of weathering on your excavation.
Nature's Sculptors: Fun Facts about Weathering and Erosion
Fun Facts about Weathering and Erosion:
Weathering is the process that breaks down rocks into smaller pieces over time. It can occur through physical, chemical, and biological means.
Erosion is the movement and transportation of weathered materials, such as rocks and soil, by natural forces like wind, water, and ice.
Water is a powerful agent of erosion. It can carve out canyons, create waterfalls, and shape coastlines through the continuous action of flowing water.
Wind erosion occurs when strong winds blow loose soil and sand, creating unique landforms like sand dunes and rock formations.
Glaciers, massive sheets of ice, can carve out valleys and fjords as they slowly move and erode the land.
The Grand Canyon in the United States is an excellent example of the powerful erosive forces of water, as the Colorado River has carved a deep and majestic canyon over millions of years.
Plants and tree roots can contribute to weathering and erosion by exerting pressure on rocks, causing them to crack and break apart.
Weathering and erosion can lead to the formation of beautiful natural landmarks like arches, hoodoos, and sea stacks.
Coastal erosion can be seen in the gradual retreat of shorelines, which can expose new rock formations or erode existing ones.
Weathering and erosion are ongoing processes that continually shape and reshape our Earth's surface, creating a diverse and ever-changing landscape.
So, let's explore the incredible forces of weathering and erosion and discover how they shape our world in fascinating ways!
Creating and observing a Rain Rock Weathering Stone is a great way to help a student understand the concept of weathering. This is a fun activity to incorporate in lessons regarding weathering, erosion, soil, geology, and more!
Be sure to explore ExcavatingAdventures.com for hundreds of dig kits, excavation activities, scientific trivia and more!
Question 1: Which natural force is a powerful agent of erosion? A) Sunlight B) Gravity C) Lightning D) Moonlight
Correct answer: B) Gravity
Question 2: What is the process that breaks down rocks into smaller pieces over time? A) Erosion B) Evaporation C) Weathering D) Condensation
Correct answer: C) Weathering
Question 3: Which natural phenomenon has carved the Grand Canyon over millions of years? A) Earthquakes B) Volcanic eruptions C) Glacier movement D) Water erosion
Correct answer: D) Water erosion