Everybody Needs A Rock by Byrd Baylor
If you Find a Rock by Peggy Christian
Let's go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans
Rocks by Chris Pellant
Dirt by Steve Tomecek
Dirt by Natalie Rosinsky
Dirt by Luana K. Mitten
The Dirt on Dirt by Paulette Bourgeois
Dig and Explore:
Materials: rocks, dirt, shovel or spoon
Description: Bury several rocks in a bucket or tub of dirt. Give your little one a spoon or shovel and let them dig in the dirt to find the rocks. They will have fun exploring. Help your toddler count the rocks that they find.
Skills Targeted: observe and explore their surroundings, sensory development, counting
Dry and Wet Dirt:
Materials: dirt, water
Description: Let your toddler touch and play with dry dirt. After a few minutes add some water to the dirt and let your toddler touch and play with the wet dirt. Talk with them about how it feels different when it gets wet.
Skills Targeted: sensory development, compare and contrast Noise Maker:
Materials: empty water bottle, rocks, hot glue
Description: Help your toddler fill an empty water bottle with several rocks. You and your child can count the rocks as you put them in the water bottle. Hot glue the cap onto the water bottle, so that your little one will not be able to take it off. When the glue dries and is no longer hot, your little one can shake their new noise maker.
Skills Targeted: sensory development, encourage listening, counting, motor skill development Hop Scotch:
Materials: side walk chalk, a rock
Description: Draw a hop scotch sketch on the side walk. Right the number 1-10 in each square. Help your little one count as you write each number. Show your toddler how to gently toss the rock into one of the squares. See if they can name the number that the rock landed in. Your little one can walk, jump, or run to the square and pick up their rock. They can do this over and over again.
Skills Targeted: number recognition, counting, motor skill development, encourage your toddler to get moving, language development Hard and Soft:
Materials: Rocks, several soft objects (such as cotton balls, pom-poms, marshmallows etc), a box
Description: Place several rocks into the box along with several soft objects. Without looking, have your toddler reach into the box and grab and object. Ask them if it is hard or soft before they take it out. Have them take the object out and see if they were correct. Talk about the object. All the hard objects are rocks, so they will discover that rocks are hard.
Skills Targeted: understand opposites, sensory development, compare and contrast how things feel, language development Paint Rocks:
Materials: rocks, paint, paint brushes
Description: Provide several different colors of paint and paintbrushes for your toddler. Give them a large rock and let them paint it. Talk about rocks and how they are hard, as your little one is painting.
Skills Targeted: sensory development, enhance creativity, language development Rock Hunt:
Materials: a bucket
Descriptions: Give your toddler a bucket and take them outside. Have them find and gather rocks. When have collected several rocks, dump them out and have your little one pick out their favorite rock. Count the rocks together. They can even start a rock collection throughout the week. Where ever you go, during the week, encourage your toddler to look for rocks and bring one or two home to add to their collection.
Skills Targeted: counting, appreciate nature and the world around them, observe, sensory development, language development Mud Pie:
Materials: dirt, water, sticks, grass
Description: Your toddler will love getting a little messy while making a mud pie. Provide your toddler with dirt, a bucket of water, sticks and grass and help them make a mud pie. Talk with your child about where they can find dirt and how it feels while you play.
Skills Targeted: sensory development, encourage free play and creativity, language development
Plant a Flower:
Materials: flower pot, dirt, flower or seeds, water
Description: Talk with your child about how plants and flowers need dirt to grow. Have your toddler help you fill a flower pot with dirt. They can place a flower or seeds in the dirt, and add more dirt to cover. Your toddler can help you water the flower often. Since Easter is right around the corner, your toddler could plant a flower or seeds in a plastic egg. These make cute decorations for the upcoming holiday.
Skills Targeted: understand how plants live and grown, encourage love of nature, enhance science skills, language development, sensory development, motor skill development Count Rocks:
Materials: rocks, sidewalk chalk
Description: Have your little one find at least 10 rocks. Write the numbers 1-10 on the sidewalk and have your toddler put one rock on each number. With your toddler, count the rocks pointing to each number as you go. You can extend this activity by calling out a number and having your toddler go get the rock that is on that number.
Skills Targeted: counting, number recognition, one to one correspondence, enhance math skills, follow directions, enhance listening skills Songs and Fingerplays:
This is the way we play in the dirt:
(Sung to the Tune of This is the Way We Roll The Ball)
I like to play in the dirt,
play in the dirt,
play in the dirt.
I like to play in the dirt,
in our backyard.
I like to dig in the dirt,
dig in the dirt,
dig in the dirt.
I like to dig in the dirt.
In our backyard.
I like to squish in the mud,
squish in the mud,
squish in the mud.
I like to squish in the mud.
In our backyard.
Rocks and Dirt:
(sung to the tune Mary had a Little Lamb)
Rocks and dirt are so much fun,
so much fun,
so much fun.
Rocks and dirt are so much fun.
I like rocks and dirt.
I dig in the dirt to find rocks,
to find rocks,
to find rocks.
I dig in the dirt to find rocks.
Look, I found 3!
When it rains the dirt gets wet,
dirt gets wet,
dirt gets wet.
When it rains the dirt gets wet.
The dirt turns to mud!
5 Little Rocks:
1 little rock sat in a garden looking sad and blue.
Another rock rolled by And now there are 2.
2 little rocks sat in the garden happy as can be.
Another rock rolled by And now there are 3.
3 little rocks sat in the garden, Wishing for some more.
Another rock happen too roll up And now there are 4.
4 little rocks sat in the garden, doing a jig and jive.
Another rock rolled by And now there are 5.
Snacks and Recipes:
1 package of Oreo cookies
8 oz. cream cheese
2 packs of vanilla instant pudding mix
12 oz. cool whip
1 c. powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Make both packages of vanilla pudding according to the directions. Mix the pudding into the cool whip mixture. Crush the Oreos. Mix 2/3 of the crushed Oreos into the pudding/cool whip mixture and put into a serving bowl. Pour the last 1/3 of the crushed cookies on top. You could even serve the dirt cake in a clean flower pot and add an artificial flower and gummy worms to it!