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Dig it: Washington family creates GeoKidz exploration kits

Did you know the Pacific Northwest is a geological hotspot? The Rice family of Liberty Lake is on a mission to share the wonders of our state.

"Washington is home to so many unique, beautiful landscapes that are rich in geologic history," said local geologist and dad Justin Rice. "The Cascade volcanoes are right outside our backdoor to explore and our favorite features in Eastern Washington include landscape that has been shaped by thick flood basalts and scoured by floods of epic proportions."

The family of four wanted to share their love of geology with the masses, so they launched GeoKidz as a way to bring families together and inspire science at home.

"When our son was three years old, we bought him a backyard explorer-themed kit that was all about bugs. We had so much fun digging up creepy-crawly specimens and finding cool rocks along the way! This made us wonder if there were similar geology-themed kits available,” said Rice.

"We couldn’t really find anything, so we started putting together our own kit – a geology lens from dad, a compass, field notebooks, colored pencils, specimen bags and eventually an identification guide. This developed into our GeoKidz Adventure Kit."

The family of entrepreneurs currently has four kits to explore, as well as a six-month subscription box available for purchase. The kits include the Adventure Kit, Seismic Kit, Dig Kit and the Creative & Experiment Kit.

"The Adventure Kit is our most popular and is a great starter for kids interested in geology," said Rice. "It provides the tools and information a geologist needs to study rocks and minerals. The Seismic Kit comes with all the materials and instructions to build a shake table at home. Shake tables are used to demonstrate the damaging effects of earthquakes and test your engineering skills. The Dig Kit is perfect for kids that like getting their hands dirty and discovering treasures. We mix nearly a pound of semiprecious gemstones and rock specimens with soil and include a hand trowel and sifter for the kids to uncover their treasures. Our Creative & Experiment Kit is for families that love home-based science experiments and offers nearly a dozen home-based experiments that teach the basics of geology.”

"As a family, our son is now 5 and our daughter is 2, we love doing science experiences at home," said Rice. "In our house, we probably have more experiment nights than family game or movie nights. Our kits set you up with the material to perform dozens of experiments and we guarantee the whole family will learn something new. Most of all, studying geology is about getting outdoors and exploring. We hope that our kits spark an interest in earth science and get your family outdoors to explore.”

Shop all the GeoKidz kits here.

Kate Neidigh is a freelance writer for Seattle Refined. Follow more of her work here.