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I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and…

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

by Jennifer Ward

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Parents, teachers, caregivers, and children are so sure to discover new outdoor activities, no matter what the season. Ward not only includes activities, but science lessons for each section to help answer questions such as "How old are trees?", "Why does snow stick together?", and "Are all ladybugs ladies?" For more on the topic, try Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (Louv wrote the forward to I Love Dirt!). ( )
  westfargolibrary | Feb 27, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received the ARC of this book and was so excited, since I have a 3 year old and I love finding new ways for her to explore the outdoors. Unfortunately for me, the activities and suggestions put forth in this book were for more temperate climates. Florida kids won't get much use out of this book. ( )
  elleseven | Jul 22, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an abridged sample copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. The sample book I was given has 15 chapters instead of the full 52, so this review can't comment on the overall scope of the book or all of its contents.

The book is organized around the seasons. It is designed to provide one nature experience per week of the year.

In my opinion this is for use with children under ten years old. The reason why is it not good for children over ten is that some of the activities are too babyish for older kids (play in a puddle etc.). The shallow/introductory infomration is suitable for preschoolers and elementary grade kids. Kids aged possibly nine and ten may ask more questions than this book supplies.

The book basically gives activities to do with young children outside. If the adult knows not much about nature, this book provides talking points and ideas of what to do. There are suggestions to have children do things and then to discuss what happens. Factual information is provided that is good if the adult doesn't know much.

Conversely if the parent or grandparent already knows this basic information then the book's information could be too simplistic and not too useful.

Also some of these things end up feeling staged to me. For example if the parent intends to discuss where animals go during the day, but the child doesn't take that bait and run with that topic, you are out of luck. I sure hope the parent doesn't come down hard on the child for 'not following the plans'. Also if the parent prepares to do X with the child but they want to spontaneously explore other things (which is good in my opinion) the adult may feel frustrated that they prepared to do X but are doing Y.

The people who are more spontaneous in general may feel this book is too limiting, but those people may not feel the need to buy a book of ideas.

This is a unique book. If this helps some parents get outdoors with their kids and have the children spend more time in nature then this book will have done its job (even ithe parent doesn't fully use the book as intended or if they don't get to do everything outlined in the book).

It is a very good idea to get kids outside more and outside exploring nature with thier children. Hooray for that!! I applaud the author for writing this book which seems to be trying hard to give parents some tools and ideas about how to explore nature with their children (and throw in some education in the process). ( )
1 vote ChristineMM | Jun 25, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wish this book was longer and had more ideas. I did find several things I would like to try, but most of the 52 ideas were variations on just a few ideas. I liked how it was organized by seasons so that you could turn right to the activities that would be appropriate for the season you are in. ( )
  HedgehogFamily | Jun 14, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Educating & Experiencing Nature Made Easy"

I love the outdoors and sharing it with my kids, and I loved Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods. So I was eager to read this new paperback that contains 52 easy ways to experience nature with one's kids and educate them about it.

I was really impressed by this book: short chapters divided into four seasons, with suggested activities to experience and concurrent teaching points about biology, physics, and the environment to help the little ones understand what they are seeing and doing.

Over and over again I caught myself thinking, "What a great idea... yea, that's a good one... gee, I didn't know that... I'm going to have to try that one out!"

A great book to read for any parent, grandparent, or anyone else involved in young people's lives. Go get a copy! ( )
1 vote wiseasgandalf | Jun 5, 2008 |
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Packed with activities to help kids discover the wonders of nature, this collection offers alternatives to electronic games and gets kids and parents outside. Each activity presents a project meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a sense of wonder.… (more)

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