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I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature Paperback – May 13 2008

4 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature
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  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
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  • The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Roost Books (May 13 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590305353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590305355
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.2 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“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

About 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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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great ideas. There are some simple suggestions that teach the most basic ideas for children. Good way to get kids to play and learn about nature at the same time.
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By Theresa English on Sept. 19 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simple ideas to do with children.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela Sheppard on Jan. 23 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great fun, it is a good tool to warm up my imagination and get the kids outside. We have been having a lot of fun. A great purchase I highly reccomend.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Black on March 3 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is full of ideas. Some are truly simple, some are things you could have easily have thought of yourself and some are quite unique. But all of them are sure to build a connection with nature and help build balanced children.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 38 reviews
100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Great to help kids find their inner Thoreau in the "Green Age" May 30 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately." Exactly the tone "I Love Dirt" resurects at a time when we, as parents, are eager to motivate our kids away from tv sets and video games to spend more time outside.

"I love dirt" could not be more timely in an age when it is impossible to escape the "Green" revolution. The book is overflowing with guidance/reminders on how to approach the world through the eyes of a child. I think the text might also be super for older children and pre-teens to inspire more scientifically complex thoughts about their environment. Each chapter is succinct and serves as a primer to prompt a nature expedition limited only by imagination.

I offer due respect to the other reviewers, who perhaps took too personally what is really and ultimately a child-geared set of suggestions and not an adult's how-to ala the "Idiots" or "Dummies" guides. I freely admit (as a card carrying PhD life scientist) that I have not been outside to scrutinize the texture of bark, questioned the density of a random rock, or made note of the time of day for a particular bird call in quite a long time (though I have paid some attention to the bird that sounds like my cell phone ring).

I think, if anything, the perceived simplicity of this book that bugged other reviewers IS EXACTLY THAT...IT IS SIMPLE. Well done Ms. Ward, you have succeeded in your obvious intent. Accolades to the nature-nuts who can quickly disappear into nature the minute they strap on their boots and throw granola into their backpacks. For most of us, it is actually something of a challenge to step outside and reduce the apparent complexity of the world into the actual (beautiful) modesty our surroundings offer. During a college Botany course, I recall taking nearly 3 hours of sitting alone in a forest preserve writing random thoughts in a nature journal before I really began to realize my surroundings and escape thoughts of what I had to accomplish during the rest of the day (which, as I look back, was relatively little). Honestly, with a full-time job, two children, and a dog, I suspect it might take me a little longer these days to escape my mental to-do list and allow myself to be consumed by nature in a way that will be most beneficial to my two-year-old. My sincere gratitude to the author for facilitating such. Indeed, children are more inclined to explore on a very primitive level. "Dirt" very casually assists us (the busy and distracted adults) to see and hear the world beyond our blackberries (unless you are growing some) and iPods.

If anything, the title of this book does not do justice to the wide variety of activities that consider all seasons, weather, time of day, and region. This is a fabulous book that will only complement the existing motivation the young generation will need to continue to find ways to live in a "Green" world.

I highly recommend this book.
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
discover, get dirty, have some old-fashioned fun! May 15 2008
By Bethany L. Canfield - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dirt, leaves, worms, bugs, stars, raindrops and watching trees grow...all that fills i love dirt to capacity with 52 activities for parents and kids to do together. If I read thorough a book and can't help but dog-ear the pages I know it is a great one. i love dirt by Jennifer Ward is a book about kids, and exposing them to the nature and outdoors while siultaneously leaning of the wonderful nature of earth science. From bugs, to leaves, from trees to snowmen this is a book to enjoy through all the seasons. i love dirt is divided up into activities that would work best in the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter so that children and adults can observe and enjoy every new stage as it comes and admire what is different and beautiful about them.

i love dirt is Jennifer Ward's antidote to the current situation of "nature deficit" that children are experiencing. The generations previous to this one relied on nature. Our schools were even let out and in during the communities harvest time, and daylight savings time was initially agreed upon because of the impact another hour of light could do in the farmer's life. It was not all working outside, but also the playing in nature and with nature that was important. Participating in such activities as picnics, mid-afternoon fishing trips, laying under the sky's blanket to see just one shooting star, and the amazing world of mud pie making! To go outside and play, to put on rain gear and jump in puddles, or camp outside in the backyard on a warm summer night, or to explore the woods and make a fort these need not be things of the past. Outdoor activities are a learning and teaching experience that if neglected will fill our nation with a bunch of kids who can learn through books, but not from the beauty that surrounds them. Weather in the city, or country there are opportunities in i love dirt to get down and dirty and feel the particles of nature on your skin.

I personally loved this book so much, seriously does it get any better than a book that discusses all the fun things you can do to learn about nature and the processes that engulf us humans? Each section of the book, each activity has a short (kid friendly) explanation of the activity and its importance and a Help Me Understand question and answer as well. Here are some Q and A examples:

Q: What is Dirt?
A: Dirt is a mixture of all kinds of things: broken rock and stones, minerals and organic matter such as broken down bits of plants. (p.44)

Q: What makes new plants sprout in the spring?
A: They get more sunlight than they were getting in the winter. In the spring, the days get longer, brighter and warmer. These things help new plants to grow. (p.4)

There are so many more tid-bit facts of things every child asks, or at least mine do! I have decided to use this book for our outdoor explorations. I am very impressed with Jennifer Ward and i love dirt, too! This would not just be a great book to use for parents, but also for grandparents, and teachers as well. I am going to use this book for our science course when we begin homeschooling next year. To be honest though, it is all but burning though my hands, and since it is spring right now, I really see no need to wait...we're going to dive into this one with rubber boots, or barefoot! For when nature calls, we listen!
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
You can do better Oct. 26 2008
By AnonInCA - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a little book with reminders about ways to enjoy nature with your children. Most of the suggestions are common-sense, broad suggestions like watching clouds, smelling the rain, and observing wildlife. There were not specific activities. If your family already enjoys spending time in nature together and would like to learn new things to do or have a "deeper" experience, this book is not for you. If you would like to gain some inspiration for getting you and your family outdoors more often, then pick this up since it is a quick read. On this subject, I prefer "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. The new addition has a large section in the back with many activities and resources for parents.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Family Bonding Book May 30 2008
By lilmonster - Published on
Format: Paperback
i love dirt is deceptively simple. its premise is a series of lessons to help parents introduce their children to what we once took for granted (and children, who largely spend their time in front of the latest nintendo venture, are widely oblivious of) -- NATURE!

beginning with simple activities sure to bring young children joy- finding shapes and similarities in nature, to more complex discussions, the book offers a wide series of tools for parents to foster discussion and outside learning. it seems to keep in mind that most people who love children still don't have tons of time on their hands, so the instructions are simple and clear, to get right to the point and get everyone outside.

beautifully illustrated and an easy, fun read.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I love dirt too! June 10 2008
By Elinor Dashwood - Published on
Format: Paperback
While some think it is so obvious to teach your kids the things in this book, we as a culture forget about a lot of it and this is a nice, cute, compact little reminder to get outside. There are a lot of basic concepts with this like look for colors in nature, look for birds in the sky, but this book does go beyond that and how to help your kids do more than look for birds. It ask, do you see a flying bird, what about a bright bird, a dull bird, that sort of thing. Things that people don't always do.
I think this is an inexpensive, innocent reminder to parents and grandparents to do more than say, "go outside and play", but to go play too. And to do more than play, to learn life lessons by what is going on around you.