Often, when doing laundry, I am reminded of this post of daddychip’s, about his son’s tendency to collect sticks. The Potato has an affection for stick-collecting, but his real genius is as a budding geologist.


These are the rocks I found in our washing machine today. Perhaps he’s hoping for the stone-washed look?

I don’t know what it is about kids and rocks. Both of our kids love collecting rocks, and this is not the first load of rocks that I’ve washed (which also says something about my refusal to clean out other people’s pockets, but that’s neither here nor there). The Bee has a box of rocks–most of them from our driveway–on her dresser. They look pretty much the same to me, but to her they are distinctive and wonderful.

I was talking to Ms. Lynn, my favorite of all the preschool teachers at daycare, and she told me that when the kids in the Potato’s class get to go outside (i.e.–when there’s not a monsoon, like there is today), they play restaurant, and the currency is rocks. She’s always trying to get them to leave the rocks outside when it’s time to come in, but there’s at least one kid who manages to sneak some rocks into the classroom every day. (She also told me that when her sons were small, she would make them clean out their own pockets after sticking her hand into one-too-many unidentified slimy messes, so I guess I’m not alone there.)

I remember liking to collect rocks and stones as a child. For some reason, the rocks that my kids seem to attach themselves to are usually craggy and sharp, but I always loved the smooth feel of a pebble. The beauty of rocks is that they are everywhere, and they don’t break or wear out. When we went on vacation at Christmas, I introduced the Bee to sea glass, and while we were there, it definitely held her attention. But sea glass isn’t something you find everywhere you go, whereas rocks are practically universal.


April 16, 2007. family life.


  1. Leggy replied:

    Yeah- The Cutie Pie is a rock collector too. I’m good about checking pants before washing, but DH, not so much.

  2. Carrie replied:

    What is it with rocks and kids? Erik is only 18 months old and is totally obsessed with collecting rocks.

  3. Phil replied:

    My son has about 50 pounds of rocks in his room. It won’t be long before we’ll have to put extra bracing in the floor!

  4. Jennifer (ponderosa) replied:

    There’s a book “everybody needs a rock” which your kids might like.

    one of the things i love about being a mom is that i remember now why i enjoyed things like rocks, too — and enjoy them all over again : )

  5. elise replied:

    Sarah is my biggest rock collector and then she sorts and stores them in egg cartons. We get to find a lot of rocks with fossils in them around here.

  6. fidget replied:

    I loved collecting rocks but my mom always threw them away. My girls collect rocks now and my only stipulation is to leave them in the backyard!!

  7. Kimberly replied:

    I’m a rock lover too. The pretty, marbled kind.

    Zen Baby has recently embraced the Way of the Rock. She has “Rocky,” a hunk of asphalt that she loving wraps in a baby blanket and carts with her everywhere, including to bed.

  8. jo(e) replied:

    My husband is 46 and he still fills his pockets with rocks when we go hiking.

  9. Heather Bea replied:

    Yep, my kids are rock collectors too, but they refer to them as stones. They like the smooth and shiny ones the best, just like their mom. I still collect rocks, but now they are from special places we have visited. A beach in Olympia, a campsite on Vancouver Island, Yosemite, a cabin on Whidbey Island. I like them for the memories, the kids like them for the mass quantity they can collect.

  10. CamiKaos replied:

    K has a treasure box in her room full of rocks and shells, like you she prefers to find smooth stones, as did I. I have one stone left that a best friend gave me as a child. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious I still like to feel its weight in my hand.

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