Outdoor Kids: Digging

from Wildlife Promise

When I think of digging, I think of cultivating, searching, or finding. The week before school started, my sons and I made one last overnight trip to the beach to visit with friends. Upon arriving, we discovered that treasure awaited us.

The treasure to find was not jewels, but sand crabs. They are no bigger than a silver dollar and do not pinch when you find them, they just wiggle around and tickle a little bit. They like to bury themselves six to twelve inches just at the point where the water reaches the beach.

Watch this video >>

Luckily, we had adults with us who grew up on nearby beaches searching for them. Otherwise, I’m not sure we would have known they were there. Before we found our first sand crabs, we walked along the beach and met another family who was searching for them and showed us how to scoop down into the sand to find them.

Once the children found the sand crabs, they would let them go and search for more. The children never tired of the adventure, and found new ways to dig: scooping, twisting, and “splash digging.” Even the threat of rain didn’t stop them, and our discovery brought more kids out onto the beach to join in the fun.

When we arrived home, we volunteered at the neighborhood school to spruce up an outside learning garden for the kids. Students enjoyed digging and planting, finding worms, frogs, praying mantis, and butterflies. As we transition into fall, think about giving your kids a place to dig–at home and at school–and see what you can discover.

Rebecca P. Cohen is Founder and President of Rebecca Plants LLC, is a gardening and outdoor lifestyle company that inspires families to be outside and improve their well being. For her weekly online video series, “Get Out of the House” as well as Starla J. King’s guest blog series “Savoring Summer,” visit http://www.rebeccaplants.com.