Sandbox sand is fun but it is not filled to the brim with living beings.
Armed with trowels, spoons, shovels and magnifying glasses, we dug through the dark, crumbly earth to see what we could find.
A spider with an egg sac was under the dirt. (I am working on identification)
A very long thin worm was found ...they watched how it moved
Another earthworm . . . they noticed the different colors, segments, and its saddle, the bulging part of adult worms where eggs are released.
A dead bumblebee was lying atop the soil
A wood louse is an interesting find.
We also decided to test the soil in some of the raised beds before planting . . .
for ph and Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potash (K)
Nitrogen enables leaf growth
Phosphorus enables root growth
Potash enables flower and fruit growth.
PH is specific to each plant and can tell how they can utilize the above nutrients.
There are many cool things to do in and around the soil. Sometimes young children are not used to playing with dirt and get a bit anxious if dirt gets on them. And there are people of all ages who would rather not touch dirt at all, but that doesn't mean they don't want to explore and discover.
A wheelbarrow filled with soil or compost, or a combination, might feel more comfortable in which to dig. The child can dig while standing up. Wearing gloves is another option.
We can make *considerations* for each child, ones specific to them, enabling them to take an active part in the natural world around them.
So go ahead. . .