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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let them eat...


Just don't watch while they are eating it.

There are few children who dislike playing in the dirt. Sandboxes are a standard for many homes with small children and a major marketing point for many companies. I recently noticed that Crayola now sells colored sand for your sandbox. The bag of sand is a little over $6.00 per bag and comes in pastel purple, pink, blue and green. I can't help but envy the child whose parents spring for this glorious colored sand because I know in my heart of hearts that even if this ingenious invention had come to pass back in my day, there is no way my parents would have shelled out money to provide me with colored sand, regardless of how pitifully I surely would have begged for that wonderful sand.

Alas, sand is the perfect entertainer for small children. They love to roll in it, dig in it, bury themselves and their toys, and, indeed, some even eat it. While I may not be rushing out to buy my own stash of colored sand (though the jury is still out on that one - just got to get to the store without Randall in tow to tell me no...) I do provide my girls with ample opportunity to dig.

Kira has her own little patch in my flower garden where she is allowed to dig to her heart's content even when the ground is overly saturated by the rain which seems to be so abundant around these drought stricken parts of Georgia. She has her own shovel and her own wagon and sand toys that she uses to dig holes in the yard and play with the resulting mounds of dirt. She's most happy when there is some amount of water around for turning her dirt into mud, so after it rained and we turned her lose last weekend she spent over an hour digging in the mud. Granted, she stripped off every bit of her clothes before she was allowed to enter the house, but she had so much fun getting muddy.

If you're searching for an inexpensive way to entertain your child, let them play in the dirt. To make it even more entertaining for them, provide them with a few flowers to plant while they are playing. Kids love to watch their own plants grow.

For an extra special treat, spring for a bag of that colored sand. You are not even required to have a sandbox because you can pour the sand in your yard and your child will be just as content with that. The colored sand will blend with your grass or eventually wash away, so there is no concern about the leftover mess, either.

Oh, one last thought. If your child happens to be an eater of the sand, check the label before you purchase that amazing colored sand just to be sure that it is non-toxic. I imagine it is since it is made by Crayola but Randall won't let me get anywhere near the bags to read and find out.

Smart man!!!


SoccerMom said...

Besides the 10 second rule, there is a little saying we have in my house;
God made dirt a dirt won't hurt!