Rock Tumbling for Outdoor Families

If your kid is anything like my kid, it’s nearly impossible to come home from an outdoor adventure without rocks in their pockets. While it can be infuriating from a laundry standpoint, I do love that they are interested enough in the trip to be wanting to bring home souvenirs. 

Want to win one??? Go here before October 1!!

Note: If you live in a National Park (like us), even rock collecting is off-limits so please make wise choices about where you’re hounding!

This fall we are doing a little something different with our rocks as we find them – we’re turning them into polished treasures that the kids can collect and use as “worry stones” should the need arise (and arise it does!)

We’ve never owned or used a rock tumbler so we were excited for an opportunity to partner with VocalPoint to test one out the past few weeks. As always, these opinions are our own. You can check out the Rock Tumbler here!

Rock Tumbler

The kids helped get the tumbler set to go and change out the grit between steps.

Rock Tumbler

Tips for Using the Rock Tumbler:

  1. While the instructions say to add about 4 ounces of rocks, we went with 3 ounces and were glad we did. This is definitely an entry-level tumbler and the motor isn’t designed to handle the big ones. The good news is this also helps us easily justify only bringing small rocks home.
  2. Make sure the water just barely covers the rocks. Too much water also is hard on the motor.
  3. After the tub is closed tightly, make sure it is completely dry. The rubber “grip” the motor pushes along particularly needs to stay dry for best performance.
  4. Find a place to let it run that you can’t hear it. It’s loud, and while it is fabulous white noise, it also gets annoying after days upon days of tumbling. A garage is ideal. Outside doesn’t work because condensation gathers inside the cover and will make it stop. 
Rock Tumbler

The kit did come with a packet of rocks and enough grinding powder to do one round of tumbling (four different steps). I wish since it came with just about enough rocks to do four rounds, it also came with the grinding powder and polish to do that many too. 

Rock Tumbler

However, it does allow kids to hand pick which rocks they would like to tumble (if you aren’t tumbling the ones you find yourself!) The kit does come with an included black and white rock reference chart.

Our kids loved that the kit also came with some jewelry making tools to be able to show off their rocks. Though truly just letting them carry them around in little “magical pouches” is just as fun. 

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for an affordable entry-level rock tumbler to get your feet wet in the rock-tumbling world, this is a great way to start!

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  • Amelia lives with her husband and five young children outside of Jackson, WY in Grand Teton National Park. As a mom, she quickly learned that the secret to sanity was to spend more time outside where tantrums don't see quite so bad. Amelia started TMM in 2012 to help encourage all families (including her own) to get outside, no matter the weather. Due to the necessity of having to keep so many kids warm and happy, she has become an expert in kids' gear and loves being able to share it with others.

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