Junior Activities By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Program Chair (published from the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Newsletter, May 2018)


Lapidary Arts
A Basic Wire Wrap Project for Kids & Adults Alike!
AFMS 300x294 - A Basic Wire Wrap Project for Kids & Adults

Kids love arts and crafts and making pretty things. Thus, one of the more popular units within our AFMS/FRA Badge Program is Lapidary Arts. I’ve heard that some clubs have actually banned kids from their workshop facilities, concerned about safety issues or damage to expensive machines like Genies or Pixies. However, as noted in our Badge Manual, there are many basic lapidary arts that don’t require any machinery at all. Suggested projects along this line include rock painting, making “rock critters,” crafting light-catchers with tumble-polished agates, sand art, beading, crafting wind chimes, or polishing soft stones by hand with wet-or-dry sandpaper. If you’re hesitant to have kids use rock saws and grinding units, check out these ideas and more in the Badge Manual at http://amfed.org/fra/fra_badge.htm. Dennis Gertenbach and Jacque Mahan of the Flatiron Minerals Society (Colorado) recently contacted me about a project that proved especially popular successful for them. Their Junior Geologists had just concluded a basic wire wrap project that attracted more kids (33 in all!) than have attended any of their past lessons and activities. Using just two small pieces of wire and a tumble-polished stone, each child crafted a beautiful pendant. One of the leaders, Craig Hazelton, led the meeting and even produced a [sic] you tube video to follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqOzlsF XvI&feature=youtu.be Check it out!

AFMS3 300x300 - A Basic Wire Wrap Project for Kids & Adults