Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun Friday: Dig in the Dirt

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.

THE IDEA
Get dirty digging. Extra points for getting really, seriously filthy.

Since our geocaching adventure this weekend, the big explorer has been obsessed with the idea of hiding and seeking treasure. He decided it might be fun to bury his own, and then get someone to find it.

OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
The hubby and I got the big explorer started by loosening up some hard-packed dirt near the lemon tree in our backyard. It took some serious ground soaking before we could begin digging a hole just right for burying treasure.

Once the hole was started, the big explorer got digging. Here’s what we were able to create after just a few minutes working together.


Next, he decided it would be best to fill the hole up a bit with water.


He stared at the hole for a while after that, seemingly proud of his work and the mud, what he called “the best part.”

Then it was time to add his treasures. Cars and trucks, of course.


With the treasure in place, the big explorer began filling the hole back up. He tossed handful after handful of dirt right back where we had just dug it up. He added sticks, leaves, rocks, flower petals and whatever else was around, too, to help hide the treasure even better.


As soon as the treasure was out of sight, he ran to get dad. He told him there was treasure to be found, but that he’d have to dig really, really deep to find it. He stood by watching as dad slowly dug in.


Many thanks to the big explorer for reminding us that burying a treasure can be just as fun as discovering it.

TAKE-HOME TIPS
Digging in the dirt is as simple as it gets. For maximum enjoyment:
  • Encourage dirtiness. The big explorer wanted to dig using his gardening gloves! I told him the best part of digging is getting dirty – the dirtier the better. The lure of running through the sprinklers when he finished help encourage him to “dig” in!
  • Add natural elements to the digging party. The big explorer used a shovel and bare hands to dig and bury. But he also added sticks, flower petals, rocks and grass to the hole, along with plenty of water.

MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
You all know I’m a sucker for simple, fun things you can do outside with kids. And the closer the connection to nature, the better. Here are a few ideas I found around the web this week that I couldn’t resist sharing:
I hope you’ll enjoy these final few weeks of spring by taking your kids outdoors to discover a little slice of nature. Happy exploring!

4 comments:

  1. OUr kids are leading parallel lives - my boys spent the arvo burying bits of bricks then digging them up thinking they had found dinosaur bones. ANy excuse to get dirty!

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  2. There's nothing like getting good and dirty when you're a child, is there?! I love that he discovered just how much fun it can be to hide a treasure!

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  3. Gwynneth, sounds like your boys had a blast doing one of the best kept secrets around -- digging in the dirt!

    Crystal, I was surprised how much encouraging it took, but once he got the idea of burying treasure, he loved it.

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  4. Geez, how cute is that kid? Very!

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