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What's in Dirt?


What's in Dirt?

[25 Minutes]

Turn your child's love of dirt into a science activity that will have you both observing and comparing.

You'll need:

• bucket • shovel • newspaper • strainer • small pitcher or measuring cup • plastic containers • coffee filters • magnifier (optional)

What to do:

  1. Take a walk outside and invite your child to place several shovelfuls of dirt from a garden or your yard into a bucket.
  2. Back in the kitchen or in a utility sink, spread some of the dirt onto a newspaper. Examine it together and talk about what you see. Use a magnifying glass, if you have one, to take a closer look.
  3. Have your child place a small spoonful into a strainer. Help him pour water over the dirt in the strainer so it goes through into a plastic container.
  4. Examine what is left in the strainer and dump it out onto a piece of newspaper for examination.
  5. Try the same process again with a coffee filter. Look at what is left behind and what goes into the plastic container.
  6. Compare the results of using the strainer and the coffee filter.

Let's Talk: Ideas to Explore Together.

  • What happened when you poured water over the dirt? What did you find in the dirt that surprised you?
  • How do you like to play in the dirt?

Useful information:

While you are having fun together, your child is developing observational skills and an understanding of cause and effect.

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