Play in the Dirt
Fun ways to get kids outside
Summer just wouldn’t be summer without kids mucking about in the dirt. This year, let kids loose for some old-fashioned fun. Better yet, throw on an old T-shirt and shorts and get knee-deep in it with them! (Just keep a supply of soap and water handy for the after-effects.)
Grow and nuture in the Garden
Most kids love to garden, especially when worms, weeds and water are involved. Pull out a pair of kid-sized gloves and let them have free rein over a dirt patch. Encourage them to look for bugs, worms, frogs and to make the unthinkable – mud pies!
Dig for Buried Treasure
To start, go through your house and gather some trinkets or toys you don’t mind burying. Next, put together a treasure-finding toolkit that includes a hand shovel, an old paintbrush (to clean off unearthed treasures), Ziploc bags (to contain what they find) and a map showing where kids should start their search. Then either bury the treasures in your garden (placing them in an area without plants is a good idea) or in a large bucket filled with dirt in your backyard. Give the kids their toolkits and watch them scavenge for treasures! For an extra bit of fun, have kids label their finds with made-up names and place them in a “museum” (or on a serving platter) to share with visitors.
Play scientist with your little ones in this fun activity. Fill a box with soil from your garden (clear boxes or food containers are great if you have them but cardboard works well, too), making sure the soil is moist. Have your kids search the yard and garden for pebbles and small plants or weeds and place them inside. Then have them draw a picture of what the box and its contents look like from above. Leave the box outside for a day or two and come back with the picture to compare how things have changed. If there aren’t many differences on the surface, have kids root through the soil to see if any snails, ants or worms have made an appearance.
Build a Soil Castle
Forget drawing castles – encourage your kids to make one! Grab old margarine and yogurt containers and use them to mold soil from the garden into their own version of a sand castle. Make sure the dirt is moist but not overly wet (though you can always add more dirt if it gets too runny) and use leaves, sticks and rocks to add windows, doors, flags, etc.
For more fun activity ideas, check out Kaboose Crafts + Fun, and our sister site, AmazingMoms.com.
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