Fun in the Sun and Dirt

Today I had planned to share the recipes and photos of how each batch of my homemade weed killer worked but then I decided I would rather show you the fun we had with dirt today.

This morning my top soil was delivered. My neighbor had her three-year old grandson who is obsessed with trucks so I asked if she wanted to bring him over to watch the dump truck drop my soil. Before she could get out the door the neighbor boys who are here daily saw me spreading a tarp in the drive and came to see what I was doing.

From the moment the truck left my plans to fill buckets and haul the dirt up to the raised beds changed and I ended up sitting and supervising while the children did all the work.

There was a bit of fighting at first because I only had two pails and one shovel but once I threatened to send them home and do the job myself they worked out a solution.  Can you see the pail on the bike handles? That’s how one child decided was the fun way to carry the dirt.

dirt 5

This girl often asks if she can work with the boys but has a short attention span and soon leaves to play. Today the only difference was she decided playing in the dirt was more fun and soon dug a hole to sit in on one side.

It was a hot day so jugs of water were on hand for the children to stay hydrated and they took frequent breaks.

dirt 6

We’ve been slowly dragging down retaining blocks that were used to build a fire pit under the large maple tree in the yard. I get worn out moving them but have hesitated in allowing the boys to help me fearing they would be overconfident in their strength and drop one breaking a foot. Today the youngest boy devised a plan to bring more blocks down, his snow sled and a bike. When bringing two blocks down at once was too heavy to drag his brother jumped in to help.  Never once did they think to remove one block or skip the bike in the equation.

sled

Next thing I knew the bricks were forgotten and the sled had a new use. Elsa kept an eye on the kids for me.

dirt 3

They brought a child’s wagon over to fill with dirt too because too pails wasn’t enough then dragged everything up the ramp and into the yard.

Late in the afternoon, my neighbor’s other two grandchildren stopped to visit but saw the pile of dirt and never even bothered to go say hello to her they came directly to my drive and inquired about what we were doing and asked to help.  I felt bad at first but she informed me it was fine and came over to visit the boys while they helped.  By this time one of the older boys had designated himself the pail-filler and the rest of the boys carried the dirt to the yard.

dirt 1

The  little one above is just four years old and wanted in on the fun. He soon came back with an ice cream bucket that he would carry dirt in.  He was adorable. He would walk by me and show me he could carry the full bucket with one finger and grin telling me how strong he was. I so enjoyed watching the grin he wore as he joined in the big boy work.

dirt 2

The children were here off and on for seven hours today. In the end I split $20 between the children a bargain for me.

There’s still a more work to be done to get all the beds filled and I have a feeling I’ll have it pretty easy as the boys can’t wait to come back and finish the job. I received a call a little while ago telling me the children all fell asleep early tonight. Mom couldn’t believe how tired they were – I wasn’t surprised I knew how hard they worked and how working outside will ensure a good nights sleep for any child.

Yesterday, Live and Learn, suggested I should open a summer camp for kids. I think if I did I’d have the camp full as soon as I announced it. One thing I noticed today was that I never once heard a parent yelling at a child, a first I think.

Right before I called it a day and sent everyone home the neighbor, with the grandchildren, came to tell me she had a child’s kitchen her grandchildren no longer played with and wanted to offer it to me before putting it out for the trash. Knowing how much my granddaughters love to cook (real or pretend) I accepted and now have this to surprise my granddaughter when she gets back from her vacation.

kitchen

It needs cleaning as it was out in her yard for a month or so and has grass all over it but that’s fair.  I’ve considered building a kitchen set for the grandchildren and preferred not to have a plastic set but I have too much to do at the moment to consider building a kitchen plus I kept this out of the landfill.

Do you have a memory involving dirt?

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14 thoughts on “Fun in the Sun and Dirt

    1. I filled my share of buckets towards the end of the day but the boys stuck around to dump them for me which is the hard part. We worked out a system where I filled the pails, they loaded them onto the footrest of my chair and I met them in the yard where they proceeded to dump them. My arms are tired and I did the least amount of work. 🙂

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  1. how wonderful to not only read your descriptive words, but to see the pictures of ‘workers’ in action! Yes, your summer camp would be a popular draw for many!!

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    1. Hi Jan. There was a lot of work done today, but also a lot of goofing around which is as it should be. All work and no play make for a boring day. 🙂

      I wouldn’t mind having kids here for a summer camp but there would be so many expenses such as insurance that I don’t see that happening any time soon. I’m sure now that Live and Learn planted the idea in my head it will rattle around for a while and maybe result in some program even if it’s not here on my property one day.

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  2. couldn’t stop smiling reading /seeing it all. Lovely for all. And nice to hear how much work got done.
    re the summer camp…unless you are looking to charge and make a little extra money, personally I would pass on organising that. Once you “offer” something official, as you say, there are many expenses, and yes insurance is a MUST. Also, then everyone has “expectations”, including parents, especially parents, and often they are not so nice to deal with. Also, then you have expectations of yourself, and if you need a day off, or such, you might feel bad/obligated.

    And, right now you have the kids popping over, when they are willing to listen to you, willing to engage, willing to work, willing to be polite, etc.. If it were more “formal”, quite often the willingness, attitudes change.

    I hope you too are benefiting, but to think of the children, right now they are benefiting from having an adult in the neighborhood who is taking the time for them, and teaching them so much (without them realising it), and just being a kind and decent adult. This benefits the kids, but also their parents, as it is quite likely they will (at some point) try some of the things (hopefully) that they have seen you do with the kids.

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    1. Yes, all you say is very true plus for now I can also decide, based on how I feel, if I am up to working with the children.

      There are way too many obstacles, including me, to starting a camp it’s more a joke to me at this point.

      I don’t know if the parents here will ever do any of the things with their children I do. I don’t see parents who are actively involved with their children. The children do their thing and the kids theirs.

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  3. Have four grandsons under 7 and there is nothing more fun than watching them “solve” a problem, usually with some kind of wheels involved! What fun those boys had. And even tho it’s plastic, your granddaughters are going to have so much fun with that kitchen. Maybe their first fun can be helping to scrub it up!

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    1. You are so right, Cynthia, I love watching kids solve problems. Now that the children have satisfied their interest in playing in the dirt more work is getting done. Although my grandson may have spurred that action as he loves working and they are following his lead.

      Yes, the girls are having fun with the kitchen It’s not what I would have bought but I’m happy to have saved it.

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  4. Playing (working) in the dirt makes all kids sleep well. I would have loved to do that kind of thing and still do. These kids are learning team work and you are a good teacher. Loved reading this. Giant hugs, Now go rest. 🙂

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    1. I find I’m having almost as much fun watching the parents reaction to the kids’ play as I am the kids. The parents really had no idea that their children could enjoy freedom outdoors or that they would or could entertain themselves. Sad when you think that the youngest (living here) is eight.

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