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I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature
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I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  732 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
I Love Dirt! presents 52 open-ended activities to help you engage your child in the outdoors. No matter what your location—from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country—each activity is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child's sense of wonder.

To learn more about the author, Jennifer Ward, visit her websi
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Roost Books
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Aug 29, 2010 Kellie rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, outdoors
Many of these activities may seem obvious to science teachers and those who have spent a lot of time outdoors, but this book was really helpful to me as a mom who doesn't have much knowledge of such things myself but wants to encourage reverence/respect for nature in my kids. I thought the activities presented here were the best I have found - very simple and straight forward, requiring no outside materials, and many would be interesting to both my third grader and my preschooler. One example: g ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Dree rated it did not like it
This is one odd little book. If I had bought this book I would have been so upset.

I'm not entirely clear on who the audience is. The subtitle says "your kids"--but the activities are for toddlers. At the end of each activity it tells you its supposed benefits--"Stimulates imagination and relaxation".

However, these activities are things kids do on their own. Looking for spiderwebs, counting ladybugs, watching the clouds, looking for bird nests. Kids don't need to be led to these activities. Kids
Jul 05, 2015 Kandice rated it liked it
Shelves: child-rearing
I love nature and tend to spend a great deal of time outdoors. Heck, I'm scrambling to write this review before I am on the dark side of the internet moon while camping later today.

This summer, some friends and I put together a little "nature club" for our kids (ages 1-6). I picked up this little book from the library hoping it would spark some ideas and activities for our little ones. Unfortunately, I wasn't inspired because I think most of the 52 activities have been done naturally with our k
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Mar 16, 2011 Sarah (Workaday Reads) rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
As the title suggests, this books provides 52 project ideas to introduce children to nature.

The description does mention the projects are "open-ended", but to me, I found them too vague. The projects included things like searching for rocks of varying shapes and sizes; puddle splashing; and stargazing. These are all worthwhile activites, however I was expecting more detailed projects.

This would be a good book for families who don't get outside much, and want to start with basic activities. It wo
May 20, 2011 Nichole rated it it was amazing
A must own for parents! This book is broken down, by season, into short activities with fun facts about animals/insects/weather with each activity. As I was reading I noticed how many things children just do naturally but that as an adult I forget or overlook. The book reminded me how simple it is to discover and observe nature and to appreciate all of the wonder that surrounds us each day! I will definitely keep this book on hand as a reminder that there never has to be a dull moment when you'r ...more
Nov 25, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
the only thing I don't like about this book is how it tells what specific skills your child is "supposed" to be learning with each activity, for example: "stimulates observation skills and awareness of and curiosity about the living world". it feels like this was added by an editor to satisfy all the baby einstein parents, when the whole message of the book is to allow your child to enjoy and discover nature in a joyful way, not to satisfy some lesson plan.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Aug 17, 2015 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it really liked it
Some great activities in here.
Apr 07, 2014 Lacey rated it liked it
"I Love Dirt" seems to have been written for parents who don't actually already love dirt... but want to. Reading the book, I got the impression that the author is assuming the reader hasn't spent much time outdoors, but is interested in exploring nature more closely with their children. If you're one of those parents, this book is for you! She asks "Have you ever looked at a tree? I mean, truly looked closely at a tree? Probably not." Well, actually, I have, and I am sure the average person wit ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-shelf
another half price books find! I will keep it on my shelves for future unschooling reference. Some of the negative reviews are funny to me. You don't need structured step by step outdoor activities to achieve having a great time with your child outside in nature. The ideas are just that, creative ideas. Your kids might think of some of these on their own but if not, you can have this reference guide to guide them and to help them explore all the fun you can have outside year around. I disagree t ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Madison rated it liked it
I picked this up seeking inspiration for getting myself and my children into nature. The book is divided into seasonal activities that introduce a variety of topics. Some of the ideas are impractical for California, but for the most part there are great ideas to spring from. This book is aimed for younger children with parent direction.
Jul 22, 2007 Susie added it  ·  (Review from the author)
The first of a series of books written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by me, aiming to inspire families to spend more time in nature & the outdoors. The second book (Let's Go Outside) is due out later this year.
Jan 10, 2017 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is a nice book for parents who want ideas and suggestions for spending time in nature with their kids. Learning made fun.
I've always been interested in nature, environmental education, and place-based learning. I've even co-authored an article called Geocaching with Kids in Taproot: Journal for Education in the Outdoors, so I was thrilled to receive a LibraryThing Early Reviewer copy of "I Love Dirt: 42 activities to help you & your kids discover the wonders of nature". In her introduction, Jennifer Ward calls on parents, educators, and caregivers to spend time outdoors in nature.[return][return]When I was gro ...more
Kristen Iworsky
Feb 12, 2017 Kristen Iworsky rated it liked it
Very simple activities to do with children probably around 2-5 years old.
Aug 11, 2013 Stephanie rated it did not like it
Shelves: nature
Really really quick read. Picked it up from the library today and read through it in one sitting. It could be summed up by saying, "go outside. Look around you: what do you hear, smell, see. Okay now play." I'm thankful this is a library book because there was just nothing new or creative.

I'm surprised to say that I found this surprisingly depressing. We are so out of touch that parents need to read a book like this to know what to do with their children outside. We don't need to say, "what do y
May 08, 2008 Brian rated it liked it
Just got this as an Early Reviewer (on a different site, ahem). I'm not sure if this was intentional, but the book was not the whole book, it only had 15 of the 52 outdoor activities to do with your kids. I can't say I was too excited about the ones that were included. My kids are 4 and 1, and we have managed to keep them, in large part, away from the TV, and so they already love to play outside. Yesterday it was rainy most of the day, so we put on the rainboots and headed out for some good pudd ...more
Feb 29, 2012 Pam rated it liked it
Shelves: science
I love dirt! I absolutely do so when I saw a book with that subject I decided to check it out. This book has many of the activities I loved to do as a child; finding four leaf clovers in the lawn (how many kids have those in their lawn today), looking at the clouds in the sky to see what they looked like. For a parent looking to instill love of the outdoors in their children or grandchildren, this book presents a variety of ideas involving weather, insects, rocks, water etc. But, that said, I fi ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Laura rated it liked it
I'm a mom of boys - I need to learn to embrace the dirt.

A very basic guide to getting outdoors with your child. Some of this stuff might come naturally to some, but I love getting prompts on questions to ask and activities to do for when my mind goes blank.

This book helps you observe nature and ask good questions. It helps you learn to use your five senses to explore what's right in front of you.

Some of my favorite activities include: playing in the rain, painting with mud, creating a trail of a
Mar 19, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I'm finally shelving this as Read because it's not a book that really can be read in a sitting. It's more of a reference, sorted by month, of activities to do with your kids outside.

I realize that most of them, as I've skimmed it multiple times by now, are obvious and things most people and kids do without prompting, but seeing as I live on the third floor of an apartment building in an area where there isn't much nature around I think it's pretty helpful when I'm feeling lazy about getting down
May 16, 2009 Sally rated it really liked it
Very simple. Much simpler than I was expecting. Small format, lots of white space, short chapters. But once I got over that, I realized that these are simple suggestions because we don't think this way anymore. These are things we used to do when I was a kid, but our fast-paced, electronic-dominated lifestyle (even for "slow" folks like me) we just don't do anymore. I had forgotten. These are nice reminders.
Jan 30, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
I loved the ideas this book gave for helping your kids explore nature. So many kids don't play enough outdoors and don't know very much about the natural world. This book gave easy and free or cheap ideas of things to do......even in your own backyard. We tried a few of the ideas with our son and he had fun. He loves nature already and we're excited to try even more of the ideas to expand upon his knowledge and love of the outdoors.
Tasmin Brown
Jan 05, 2017 Tasmin Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: outdoor-kids
This was a nice book with good ideas, but felt like another list of things. I might consider looking at it when we were really looking for something to do one afternoon, but likely it would just sit on the shelf.

I liked the following ideas the best and made a note of them, but probably wouldn't need to initiate most of the others: teaching to tie knots, land art, fairy house building, climbing equipment 101, getting started with fishing
Jan 11, 2014 Julia rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book! I have read many books about activities to do with your children and this one by far is the most unique and fun way to introduce your very littlest kids to nature and science. Some of the activities are simple enough that I could do them with my daughter when she was 18 months, others she is able to do now at 3.
Mandy Sue
Sep 28, 2010 Mandy Sue rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents
Shut off the tv and video games and head outside!! This book is a great resource for activities to do with your kids to help them explore nature. It's split up by season with about 13 activities each. Perfect for a parent who wants to teach there children more about the world around them but doesn't know where to begin.
Jun 11, 2008 Christy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sariah sunvison, danielle head, kristina crowder
this book has so many great ideas about how to enjoy nature. i often find myself remembering being young and how i enjoyed nature then. i also find myself looking at nature in new ways. the ideas in this book are so awesome i wish that i had all seasons right now so that i could do all the activities now. love this book!
Jun 18, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
I played outside a lot growing up, and now live in a rural area, so having my son play outside is an everyday occurrence. But if you live in a city and never were exposed to farms or dirt or forests, etc...then this is a great book. It has some good, basic ideas about how to respect and be involved with nature.
Jan 18, 2011 Danna rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Like I said before nothing mind blowing, but a good book that was really enjoyable to read. I enjoyed the notes at the end of each chapter telling us what traits we are encouraging with these outdoor activities. It helped me kind of rate what we do and see where we should do more. Great ideas and what parent can't use that!
Aug 15, 2009 D rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I thought it would be a lot of things that I already do with my kids, but it was better. I love the call to get back to nature and to make it a part of my children's lives because it is essential. I also love this books simplicity. Most ideas require only stepping outside, not much preparation is ever needed. I love that!
Jan 24, 2010 Maya rated it liked it
This is a great book to get ideas on taking your kids out in nature, which we all need to do more. The statistics in the foreward are amazing and helped me realize how important it is to have our son outdoors. I wish the activities could have been a touch more creative but they are a great base to start.
Apr 29, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it
This turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It arrived yesterday and I quickly went through it. It is the perfect little book to stick in your backpack on vacation. I will definitely take it on the next trip to Mammoth. Yes, the ideas are simple. But there are lots of great ones, and I like that is is arranged by season. Perfect for little kids, probably not so much for older children.
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