In Richard’s Louv’s book, Lost Child in the Woods, we learn a new term: nature-deficit disorder. In his book, the author makes the case that kids are so overloaded with screens and media that they need to reconnect with nature in order to meet developmental needs. How are they going to learn about the world? By being allowed to wonder around outside in nature, learn natural laws and get a full sensory experience that can’t be found on a screen.
Kids should be allowed to dig in the dirt! Digging in the dirt is very therapeutic and while some moms shy away from dirty kids, I gauge the success of my day by how dirty my boys’ fingernails are : ) The dirtier the better in my book! So when we got the idea to make a dish garden they literally dove right in.
The sensory benefits of digging in the dirt are wonderful. Feeling the different textures of the soil, rocks, and plants stimulate brain connections that are dormant when the child is hooked on a digital device. Remember, you want your child to use all the brain connections he can when he is young so they don’t get pruned away as he grows.
The planning and organizing stage is good for their brains as well. Sometimes they learn more from taking time to plan a project than they learn from the project itself. I was pretty surprised to see my boys get into this project. They had a vision, they made a plan (we HAD to get white and blue rocks!). They got right to work.
We used a large plastic saucer for the base then added a few other items. There was some discussion on what went in and they had to compromise (another great benefit of working together on a project!). For now we have a ‘girl’ touch in our dish garden thanks to having a big sister in the house. I imagine that a few Lego heroes and buildings will find their way in pretty soon.
What a fun outdoor activity! I am thinking that they will add a little fall touch in a month or so; wonder what they will come up with? I am excited to see : )