|Mariana, age 25 months, helping with the gardening at home.|
Where does the love of dirt begin for a child?
Are certain children more likely to love the FEEL, the coolness, the texture, the color, and the DIRTiness that comes from dirt?
Maybe it is learned? Maybe it is innate? Because - let's face it - dirt is so very dirty.
My friend and teaching colleague Vanessa posted a "hands-on, body-in" photo of her 25 month old daughter Mariana.
Mariana is focused in her garden at home, working at transplanting with the vigor and finesse of a two-year-old : hand in a fist and giving a good yank to the start up plant from the small container.
Gift #1: Mariana is dressed for getting into her work and contributing her efforts to the family garden.
Gift #2: Mariana is allowed by her parents to sit right in the middle of that garden patch - right in the middle or the corner or wherever she plopped herself down.
Gift #3: Mariana was offered the plants to grasp [good luck, little plants!] and had the opportunity to experience for herself the feeling of the dirt dirt dirt.
From the early childhood educator lens, I loved this photo so much that I had to ask for permission to use it for a blog post.Consider: Many educators are in favor of offering no-mess experiences because - well - it is easier.
Consider: Many educators are in favor of directing children exactly "the right way" something needs to be done (whether 2 years old or older).
Consider: Many educators have a whole List Of Rules of how and when and why not and don't.
In YOUR classroom:
Can you allow for exploration?
Can you allow for the child to lead her own discovery?
Can you allow for a little dirt to be the source of an invaluable sensory experience?
Maybe the experience might look like this:
|boys hands-on in the muddy sand.|
|outside mud kitchen|