Andy "Rocks"

Collect It

Building a Rock Collection


When you are outside having fun, keep on the look-out for some neat rocks that would be great to have in your rock collection. Of course, you will need some place to show off your cool rocks. Read on to find out how to build your own rock collection display.

Here is what you will need to get started:
• Egg carton
• markers / pens
• toothpicks
• scissors
• paper
• tape
• bags or other containers
• rocks


When out collecting rocks, you may want to bring along protective goggles or glasses and a small hammer or pick to chip samples off of rocks that are too large to carry home. Also, a magnifying glass would be handy to get a close look at some of the minerals and crystals that are within a rock, but that are too small to see with the naked eye.

Almost any exposure of rock provides some collection opportunities. The best rock collecting sites are quarries, road cuts or natural cliffs, and outcrops. Open fields and level country are poor places to find rock exposures. Hills and steep slopes are better sites.

Here are a couple of tips for when you are on the rock collection trail:

Tip #1 – Label your rock when you find it so that you remember the information for your rock collection. This can be done easily by placing it in its own plastic bag and numbering the bag. Then print the same number into a notebook and write a description of the rock, the location that you found it, the rock’s name if you know it, and any other information that may be of value.

Tip #2 – Clean your rocks carefully. Parents do not like having rocks with mud or bugs on them coming into the house!

Rule #1 - Be careful where you collect rocks. Private property, national parks, monuments or historical places may be interesting but not the best places to collect (it may even be illegal in some cases).

Rule #2 – Be smart about choosing a place to collect your rocks. Caves, quarries and areas around lakes, rivers and ponds can be dangerous. If you are going to an area that you feel may not be safe, be sure to bring a buddy along for the trip.

When you are ready to begin your rock collection, follow the step-by-step instructions at the right-hand side of this page.

If you have any queastions visit Ask Ian.

Activity Code: AC 101-Rock Collection

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