you one of a growing number of parents who just can't
find the answer to raising respectful, interactive
children with healthy interests and attitudes, or
are just frightened about little ones growing into
monsters? The help you need that you aren't finding
in all the stacks of parenting guides you are buying
can be found all wrapped up into one inexpensive and
healthy recreation - rock and gem hunting (alias rockhounding).
has a blend of benefits for the whole family. It will
give you quality time with your children. Hunting
will get them outside to exercise in the fresh air.
They learn about nature of all sorts and about survival
techniques. The interest spans generations, encouraging
association of people of all ages and teaching children
to value the experience of older associates. By learning
to ask to hunt on private property and learning how
to treat nature, they learn respect for others, the
differences between right and wrong, and the responsibility
for their own actions. They can learn crafts by working
with their specimens. From crafting and collecting
they can also learn how to create income through sales
of finds and crafted items. The host of healthy habits
and values to be learned from this recreation is endless.
don't need to start big to introduce a child to rockhounding.
Start by looking up some great gem pictures on the
computer. A quick "wow look at this" when you come
across a great picture is sure to spark some interest.
You can spend quality time with children by taking
them somewhere to hunt. It doesn't need to be far
away; just get them out somewhere. Children of all
ages can enjoy getting in on the hunt. Even a very
young child is capable of enjoying finding "pretty"
stones. Children, in fact, seem to be quite observant
and able to find great gemstones that adults will
walk right over without seeing. Many parents find
themselves surprised at their small child's ability
to learn to identify different mineral species, too.
equipment is a nice extra, you can just use some items
from home to start up with so you don't need to sink
a fortune into getting started. Your local rock and
gem club can suggest areas in your neck of the woods
to start out from and some handy items to take with
you. They can also tell you about rock and gem shows
where the children can see what is possible for them
to find or introduce you to people who have enticing
collections and hand crafted items to show the children.
on a field trip with your child, watch to see if there
are other interests they are showing. Some may not
be interested in rocks, but they might show an interest
in finding artifacts or treasure, or perhaps in the
wildlife or plant life. Others might show a passion
for ghost towns, area histories, hot springs, or just
the beauty of a great landscape. Perhaps they would
like to take photographs or paint pictures of what
they see. Any of these interests can be developed
into healthy recreational hobbies for the young. These
interests all provide resources for channeling further
study and learning.
youngsters may go on to plan exciting careers from
their adventures and learning. Keep a box of your
children's first finds and label them for future years.
When they bring their young children over to see you,
bring out the box to show them. It will delight your
own children as much as theirs. They will thank you,
remember, and pass the interest down through generations.
the author: ©2005 Sally Taylor: Sal is an avid gem
and treasure hunter,
explorer, writer, and is the owner of www.rockhoundstation1.com