Dirt Soup: In Contact With Creation

interacting with nature

When I was pregnant the first time, I began to read about Maria Montessori.  I not only liked, I loved her ideas.  All of her explanations made perfect sense to me.

One quote:

“It is necessary for his psychical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.” Maria Montessori

She suggested that children explore and interact with nature every day.

Luckily for my girls, Grandma has a fairly large backyard filled with endless wonderment.  They love playing there, and are always asking to go outside, no matter the weather – or the time of day.

Here you can see them involved in one of the favorite activities:  making “soup.”

The little one pretty much copies whatever her older sister does these days, and that would regularly include making soup out of dirt and water in Grandma’s empty flower pots.  This also involves the collection of leaves, small sticks, seeds, acorns, and flowers from the surrounding plants, and finding a large stick to stir it with.

The eldest sprinkles dirt over the top like a connoisseur seasoning their masterpiece.

I never tire of watching them play and discover and experiment in this fashion.  And they never tire of doing it.  They’ll replicate these activities anywhere from the park to the beach, varying them depending on the available materials.

We talk about the colors and textures of everything, and they like to describe what they’re doing and what their soup will “taste” like when it’s done.

But I think the most important part is just letting the kids roam freely in nature, wherever that may be.

They learn so much more on their own, in nature, than I could ever teach them from the inside of a stuffy classroom.

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{{{This was originally posted at roamingrosie.blog.com, but I’ve since transferred my blog here}}}