More Dirt Soup

dirt soup

I love the fall.

And now that it’s November, fall seems to have finally reached Florida.  (Most days.)

So we’re spending a lot more time outdoors, which is a great boon to my outdoorsy kids.

As I’ve mentioned previously, in Dirt Soup: In Contact With Creation, my girls love digging in the dirt and mixing various things with water, all while explaining, in great detail, the flavors of their soup-like creations.

Today was a nice day.  It called for soup.

And, above, you see a quick snapshot of my daughter in her fort (spaceship), next to her soupy creation and some gigantic rocks from the garden that were gifts we were bringing home from China.

Which is also why, incidentally, I usually let her tell me what we’re doing.  Her imagination astounds me.  Reminds me of how boring adults can be.

Turkey Treasure Buckets

Turkey Treasure Buckets | Great Thanksgiving Activity for Kids!

This November, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and Autumn, one of the projects we did was to make these Turkey Treasure Buckets.

My girls LOVE being outside.

They’d sleep out there if I let them.

Anyway, I wanted a project that would involve nature.  So we made some turkey buckets to collect autumn leaves.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of beautiful, colored leaves where we live in Florida.  Our backyard pretty much has a bunch of brown Live Oak leaves.  And some sticks, and some mulch, and some grass…

So, nature:  yes.  Beautiful fall colors:  not so much.

I feel bad, too, because we we just in Georgia a couple of weeks ago and we collected a ton of fantastically bright fallen leaves.  But I didn’t think to bring any home with us.

So, we improvised.  Used what we had.

And the kids had a blast.

Turkey Treasure Buckets | Great Thanksgiving Activity for Kids!

We started with some copper-colored mini buckets from the bargain section of Target and a handful of clothespins.

We painted the clothespins with a variety of colors and sprinkled sequins over the wet paint to represent the turkey’s feathers.  It was messy, but fun.  My girls love painting.

And we only did one side.  You could do both if you prefer.

I cut a quick face out of construction paper while they were painting, and they helped me glue on the eyes, beaks, and waddel.  Then I hot glued the faces to the buckets.  This was a sure way to keep them securely attached, but with an easy way to remove them later to reuse the buckets for another project.

Then, they clipped on the clothespin “feathers.”

Voila!

Turkey Treasure Buckets | Great Thanksgiving Activity for Kids!

Here’s a picture of my baby searching the backyard for treasures.

The clothes pins are a little heavy, but my girls wanted as many as possible.  You could always use less if the weight is problem for you.

Turkey Treasure Buckets | Great Thanksgiving Activity for Kids!

And here’s one of the buckets, filled with leaves and sticks.

They had so much fun with this.  And they played with the buckets over and over, filling them with all kinds of treasures, including tiny toys.

And I had a blast watching them and helping them seek out fun discoveries in the backyard.  It’s so great to spend some outdoors with my girls.  I’m sooooooo happy that the coolness of fall is finally showing its face in Florida!

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}}}