Fossil researchers on the hunt for traces.

Project group explores quarry near Neudorf:
“Mama, tomorrow I need a hammer and safety goggles at kindergarten.”

Indeed, that sounds very exciting!

With this somewhat atypical equipment in their kindergarten backpacks, the “Stone” project group of the Waldkinder Regensburg set off for a day towards the quarry near Neudorf in April – on the hunt for fossil remains in the limestone.

The five to six-year-old children were well-prepared not only in terms of their equipment but also in their understanding of the significance of stones in the natural cycle. As stones are popular play and research objects for children, even the youngest at the forest kindergarten know that in our area, they mainly find limestone.

When they pondered who in nature might need the lime from the stones, the children answered their own question: Ferdi knew that the snail uses the salts for its shell. And they thought that the beaks of birds might also be strengthened by the minerals?!

Thus, the interest in stones quickly grew in some of the children. They discovered that they could “crack limestone” and, with luck, find fossils in them. For the Waldkinder, it was evident that stones are far from boring and lifeless. In limestone, there is life, and stones tell the story of our Earth. Now they wanted to learn more!

Thus, the idea for the excursion was born, and the interest group set to work in the quarry with hammer and chisel. For a morning, they worked their way through the rock, in search of fossils and traces of the past. And even though they didn’t dig up any dinosaur bones or ammonites, they returned with a valuable wealth of knowledge: The young paleontologists had discovered a lot about the connections in nature on their own. And, of course, they experienced a special kindergarten day that they will remember.

But the interest in the topic is far from over. From Earth’s history, the children moved on to the Stone Age and are currently exploring the question: How did people make fire in the past, and how did they make their tools and weapons? And once again, they are back to the diverse use of stones. Once the stone starts rolling…

We, the educators and parents, are all excited to see where the children’s thirst for knowledge will lead us in the near future and what else we can pack into their backpacks.

Thanks to Volker Milsch for providing the photos.

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