I Love Dirt!: 52 Projects to Help You and Your Kids Get Outside, Get Dirty, and Enjoy Nature


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.

About the Author:
Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous ...

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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.

About the Author:
Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous children's books, all of which present nature to kids

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Children's picture book author Ward (Because You Are My Baby) has compiled a slim book of activities designed to introduce to children ages four to nine the joys and mysteries of nature. Arranged by season, each activity is basically a variety of "stop, look, and listen," whether involving the birds, flowers, leaves, or snowflakes. With a few exceptions, the activities themselves are minor and are mostly discussion questions (e.g., Do puddles look like mirrors? Can you draw with mud?). Activities are accompanied by Q&A sidebars called "Help Me Understand" that answer a common question children will ask (e.g., Why does it rain?), and each ends with a checklist for desired outcomes, such as stimulating wonder or stewardship. While the importance of outdoor play is heavily documented, many kids today simply won't have the patience to stargaze with mom, and most parents won't have the time to sit quietly and reflect on what it might be like to be a butterfly. A book with more hands-on activities is likelier to connect. Not a necessary acquisition for libraries.
—Julianne J. Smith

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
“Here is the potential for much fun, many meaningful experiences—and a trove of shared stories.”—Richard Louv, from the foreword

“There may be no better way to ensure the well-being of the natural world tomorrow than to introduce children to its many small wonders today. Through a series of accessible activities designed to engage young minds and all five senses, this book reminds us of—even celebrates—the magic to be found right outside our own back doors.”—Todd Christopher, cofounder of National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour

I Love Dirt! is a perfect book for parents, teachers, or anyone who cares about children and nature. A nature-lover herself, Jennifer Ward has done an excellent job creating a collection of fun, interactive ways for children everywhere to connect with nature and combat the growing negative impact of sedentary, indoor lifestyles on our youth.”—David Mizejewski, naturalist, National Wildlife Federation, and host of Animal Planet’s Backyard Habitat

“A perfect companion to your nature center and hiking trail excursions!”—Nashville Parent

“A wonderful resource for parents. This book could be the ticket to many wonderful memories for both parent and child.”—Portland Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615580231
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous children’s books, all of which present nature to kids. Her award-winning titles have been featured in magazines such as Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, Learning, and Foreword, and she has been interviewed and featured on national television and local radio. She is a regular speaker at conferences and schools across the country, where she instills the importance of literacy and the wonders waiting to be discovered in the natural world. 
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Table of Contents

Foreword   Richard Louv     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     xvii
Spring: Activities for Warm Days and Rainy Weather
Spring Into Spring     3
Bouquet of Color     5
Move Over, Clover     7
Hear, Here!     9
Wiggly for Worms     12
See That Tree?     15
Leaf Looking     18
Going On a Bird Hunt     21
Be Like Audubon     25
A Little Birdie Told Me     28
Up, Up, and Away     31
Build That Nest     33
Rain, Rain, Come Again     36
Puddle Jumpers     38
Summer: Activities for Hot Days and Warm Nights
Digging Dirt     43
Antics     46
Sun Fun     49
Butterfly Cafe     51
Ladybug, Ladybug     54
Handy Plants     56
Wow, Water!     58
Water-Hole Watching     61
Stone Age     64
Rock 'n' Roll     66
Backyard Lullaby     69
Moon Shadows     72
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star     75
Fall: Activities for Cool Days and Cloudy Weather
TimeOut     81
Zoom In     84
A Thinking Place     87
Wild Hide-and-Seek     89
Take a Walk on the Wild Side     91
Some Web!     94
Roly-Poly Races     96
Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around     98
Cloud Racing     101
Wandering Wind     103
Say, "Whoosh!"     105
What Goes Up Must Come Down     108
Groovy Gravity     111
Falling for Nature     113
Winter: Activities for Cold Days and Snowy Weather
Tweet Treat     119
Snow Me Some Fun     122
Fluffy Flakes     124
Cloud Breath     127
Dot-to-Dot Stars     129
Bare Naked Trees     131
Snow Tales     134
Feathers 'n' Fur     136
Slip, Slide, Wild Ride     138
Wild and Wintry     140
Winter Garden     143
Resources and Recommended Reading     147
About the Author     151
About the Illustrator     153
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