Friday, June 29, 2012
I Love Dirt!
No really, I do love Dirt! My entire family both immediate and extended had rules about kids. We had to play outside as much as possible as children. I believe it was a big catalyst in helping us to love being outdoors. I recall many days sitting in dirt at home or sand at the beach. My favorite beach activity was making drippy castles. Take some wet sand and let it fall through your fingers as it may, making castles. I still enjoy doing that to this day (and I taught my daughter too). I Love Dirt! by Jennifer Ward has 52 open-ended activities to engage your child with the outdoors. The activities stimulate their imagination, wonder and promote exploration. Each chapter has questions kids would ask with witty, truthful answers; How are rocks made?
I Love Dirt! is spending time in the sun! Remember to wear lots of sunscreen, but get those couch potatoes out into the open air, enjoying some rays. The dose of Vitamin D and pure happiness does wonders for kids. My parents hung up a simple tree swing, and the kids spend hours playing on it. No batteries required.
Another activity is the windowsill garden. This is special because it can be done whether you live in the vast countryside or deep in the city. We decided to do a CSA this year rather than garden, but my extensive use of parsely, cilantro and basil meant we needed a way to have them on hand constantly. My daughter delights in watering this windowsill garden (and her marigold she grew at school for mother's day). It brings nature right in to us.
Get those kiddos outside, in the mud, the dirt (it washes off, I promise). Whats a few grass stains against a lifetime of memories?