Boys (and some girls too) LOVE to get dirty! Everytime my little man heads outside, I can almost guarantee I will strip him down to his Diego undies on the back porch before letting him in the house! Here are some super fun ways to let loose and let your kids get dirty!!
1. Paint with Dirt!!
This is a REALLY fun art project that my kids just love! (And it is So simple, and honestly, not any messier than regular painting!) For those of you who may be squeamish about dirt (and are thinking, I don’t even let my kids touch paint), DO THIS OUTSIDE! (Your kids will love doing art outside, and no mess for you!)
2. Dirt and the 4 Senses!
I say dirt and the “4″ senses, because unless you are using idea #4 on this list, you’ll want to be sure to tell your kids not to eat the dirt! However, you can have a lot of fun using the other senses with dirt! (So many teachable moments!)
Sight- What does dirt look like? What can you see in it? What color is it?
Touch- What does dirt feel like? What is the texture ? (great vocabulary opportunity!) Is it smooth, rough, clumpy, gritty, etc etc? Does all dirt feel the same? (Feel dirt from various places around the yard and talk about how different types of soil feel different and why!) Experiment with how dirt feels on your hands vs your feet!
Smell- Get your noses right down to the ground and smell the dirt. Talk about what dirt is made of. Let your child come up with their own descriptive words (they are often priceless!)
Hearing- You can allow your child to try to hear something in a pile of still dirt….They may hear various other outdoor noises (which is fine!) Pour some water on a patch of dry soil and let them listen to the sound of the dirt “drinking” in all of the water…talk about why that is happening…
Use lots of questions, and let your child do the describing. Get them comfortable learning to use observation. Older kids can record their observations in a science journal!
3. Creature Feature!
If you have an area at your home with lots of dirt, you can use that, but if not, just scoop some dirt into a large pot or bowl. (Potting soil won’t work for this, you’ll need fresh dirt right from the ground!) Have your child sift through the dirt looking for creatures! They may find different types of bugs, worms, slugs…all kinds of fun little creatures that live in the dirt! (I’ll be featuring some worm and bug activities later this week!!)
4. Eat it!
Make dirt cups! These are super cute little desserts that kids usually can’t get enough of! They are SUPER easy too! Fill a cup (or if you’re really fancy schmancy, a little clean pot or bucket) with chocolate pudding. Crumble Oreo cookies on top to look like “dirt.” Poke a few little gummy worms into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a dirt cup! Fun to look at and even more fun to eat!
Don’t be afraid to let your kids PLAY in the dirt! (At least once in awhile!) Yes, you’ll have extra laundry to do, and the kids might need a bath that night…BUT, they will have so much fun, and will make lasting memories! Kids love to literally get their hands dirty, and I believe that kids need a break from some of the modern high-tech toys once in awhile and should get back to old-fashioned outdoor fun!
My kids love to make mud pies and mud drinks! Their new favorite game right now is coffee shop. They bake little mud pies and cakes, and mix up cups of mud and water, and garnish them with leaves and flowers…entertained for hours with nothing but nature! I recently found the place they use out back for their “oven” and was delighted to see these precious little cakes in old frisbees…
Get out old trucks, scoops, cars, and let the kids roll them through the dirt. Play construction site. Play moto-cross. Let them fill up their dump trucks with dirt and rocks. Let them be kids! We also love to get out shovels, rakes, and buckets and just dig and dig! When I let my kids go outside and get dirty and have fun they will stay out there for hours, as happy as can be! Creativity happens…..ideas spark….kids are kids…I love it! If they have to stain an old pair of play pants, so be it!
I hope you and your little ones will get outside and get DIRTY this week! Happy digging!