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


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Frequently Bought Together

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature + Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder + Sharing Nature with Children, 20th Anniversary Edition
Price for all three: $30.93

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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: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

From the Author

Now available:  IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE!  52 NATURE ADVENTURES FOR CITY KIDS, by Jennifer Ward (Shambhala Publications, June 2011).  Just because you live in the city doesn't mean you can't enjoy experiencing nature with your kids.  It's a Jungle Out There offers 52 simple and sensory ways to connect with nature in the heart of urban spaces.

More About the Author

Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Mama Built a Little Nest, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books), What Will Hatch?, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani (Walker Books) and the ever-popular series There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea, There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish, There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog and There Was an Odd Princess Who Swallowed a Pea.

Her parenting books include, I Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature, Let's Go Outside: Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature, and, It's a Jungle Out There: 52 Nature Adventures for City Kids, (Roost Books).

Her work has been the recipient of many awards, including the IRA/CBC Children's Choice Award, the Giverny Award for Best Nonfiction Picture Book, a Learning Magazine Teachers Choice Award, among others.

Jennifer writes full-time from her home in Illinois.


Customer Reviews

I love the outdoors and sharing it with my kids, and I loved Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods.
James John Hollandsworth, M.D.
The reason why is it not good for children over ten is that some of the activities are too babyish for older kids (go play in a puddle etc.).
ChristineMM
It is too basic; I feel like almost everything (or perhaps everything) mentioned in the book is common sense.
N. Tran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 30, 2008
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.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Bethany L. Canfield on May 15, 2008
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.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By AnonInCA on October 26, 2008
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.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By lilmonster on May 30, 2008
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elinor Dashwood on June 10, 2008
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.
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