We all know we should be getting kids outside more, but just why should you take them on a rock dig? Here is why!
It is just a Bonus that the geeky kids who love Minecraft will love mining like this too!
- Vitamin D – Studies show kids today are not getting enough time outside, in part, due to screen time. Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. As we are a geeky family who loves screens this is a problem for us actually that we have to actively work on! Being outside is GOOD for your health, and good for your kids health too specially as they are growing. Being outside gives bodies the best Vitamin D and this is important as Vitamin D helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Rock digging gets you all outside and playing and getting your needed Vitamin D.
2. Getting to Play with Tools! – In todays society it seems like kids are getting to use real tools less and less. Rock Digging is a fantastic way to let kids play with hammers and pick axes and other tools. They can learn to use them the “right” way and learn to experiment and figure out what works best for them. Some of our kids like sledge hammers for breaking rocks, others like more precision with a chisel and hammer.
3. You’ll get more exercise – In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own. (Children & Nature Network, 2008) When kids are having fun, they love to move! When we as parents are having fun, we like to move too. As someone who honestly doesn’t like exercising just for the sake of moving, getting out in nature for activities like rock digging make me very happy. I get to focus on something fun, and get a really good workout in. At the rock dig we did at Graves Mountain in GA this Spring I found we were going up and down hills, walking, and spending a lot of energy moving rocks and breaking rocks looking for treasure!
4. BE HAPPY, BE SMART! Go on a Rock Dig because 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) Being outside helps everyone be happier and preform better mentally.
5. Go on a Rock Dig to find Treasure! What child doesn’t like rocks? Who doesn’t like shiny beautiful stones? At the Graves Mountain Dig we went to people were finding Lazulite, Pyrophyllite, Rutile, Iridescent Hematite, and Quartz. Different areas have different gems and minerals you can find! People make money from digs like this! Others just add to their own collections! My geeky little kids are creating one heck of a fantastic mineral collection we all love!
Image Credit: Mark F. Gaskins Sr.